Phone hacking carried out by the News of the World exposed an affair by Sheffield MP David Blunkett with a married woman, the trial of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson was told.
Prosecutor Mr Edis said the story of then Home Secretary Mr Blunkett’s affair was the result of freelance investigator Glenn Mulcaire hacking into the phones of his friends and associates.
He told the Old Bailey: “His phone was not hacked, the people who were hacked were people he knew.
“We have a great many records of voicemails he left for people he knew.
“These voicemails resulted in stories being published, they are all in the public domain already.
“It was big news at the time. On this occasion Coulson became directly and personally involved.
“He went to see Mr Blunkett to tell him the story was going to be run and discussed it with him.
“Mr Blunkett is a careful man and made a recording of what was said.
“In it Coulson didn’t say how he knew about the story but he did say he was absolutely sure it was right.
“We know it came from phone hacking, tapes that prove it were recovered from the safe of the lawyer at News International.”
The Old Bailey heard that when Coulson confronted Brightside and Hillsborough MP Mr Blunkett about the alleged affair with Kimberley Quinn, he said: “I would not have gone to all this trouble of exposing myself to you if I didn’t know it was true.
“It’s my job to sift out the rubbish and identify what’s reliable and I am confident that this is true.
“But I cannot lay before you any photographs or anything like that.”
Mr Blunkett, who was not married at the time, replied: “A private life is private.
“If you don’t have a private life we don’t have anything.”
Coulson said to Mr Blunkett that if he did not run the story, his ‘sources’ would take it to a rival newspaper.
“People talk. It’s known,” Coulson said.
Coulson and Brooks deny conspiracy to intercept communications from 2000 to 2006, along with other former executives at the defunct News of the World Sunday newspaper.