David Cameron’s former spin doctor Andy Coulson was among seven people in court earlier charged in connection with the phone hacking scandal.
Six former members of staff from the now defunct tabloid the News of the World and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Coulson, wearing a grey suit with a white shirt and black tie, appeared in the dock along with ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former head of news Ian Edmondson, ex-chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, former reporter James Weatherup and Mulcaire.
The six former newspaper staff face one general charge of alleged phone hacking between October 2000 and August 2006.
They and Mulcaire spoke only to confirm their names and addresses during the short hearing and are next due to appear at Southwark Crown Court on 26 September.
The seven defendants were released on bail on the condition that they live at given addresses, do not contact their fellow accused and give the police seven days’ notice should they wish to travel abroad.