MOSCOW, November 21 (RAPSI) - The former editor of the British tabloid, News of the World, Andy Coulson, who was sentenced to 18 months for tapping into the phones of the royal family, has been released after five months in prison, RIA Novosti reports this Friday.

The scandal around the unlawful methods in journalism at certain British media outlets broke in July 2011. It was revealed that News of the World hacked the voicemail of thousands of UK citizens – not only celebrities but even victims of crimes and terrorist attacks. Paparazzi also hired private detectives and bribed police officers to get scoops.

The Telegraph reports that Coulson, who, after resigning as editor-in-chief of News of the World, was director of communications for Prime Minister David Cameron, was freed from Hollesley Bay prison 20 weeks after being incarcerated last June. Coulson will have to wear an electronic tag to monitor his whereabouts.

The News of the World trial began in October 2013. Three employees of the tabloid, chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, assistant news editor James Weatherup and news editor Greg Miskiw, pled guilty to wiretapping. Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire who worked with the newspaper also admitted his guilt. They were tried on 15 counts.

News of the World was closed because of the scandal that was followed by a number of high-profile resignations, including former CEO of News International Rebekah Brooks and Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson. Rebekah Brooks avoided a trial after being cleared of the charges by the jury.