The High Court in Glasgow today saw proceedings begin against former News of the World editor and government director of communications Andy Coulson on three charges of perjury.
The accused, a packed court was told, is facing three charges of giving false evidence during the trial of Tommy Sheridan which led to the Scottish socialist politician being sentenced to three years in prison.
Coulson testified in the 2010 criminal case that he had no knowledge of the practice of phone-hacking at the now defunct News of the World before the paper's Royal editor Clive Goodman was arrested by police in July 2006.
However The legal indictment, served by the Scottish Procurator Fiscal's office, alleges that Coulson, who did not attend the hearing, was fully aware of a "number of instances" of the unlawful interception of voicemails involving actor Daniel Craig, murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and others.
Coulson's advocate, Murdo MacLeod QC entered no plea on behalf of his client. The full trial is not expected to begin before January next year.