Key moments in Britain's phone-hacking scandal

2014-06-24 16:45
Andy Coulson (File, AFP)

Andy Coulson (File, AFP)

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London - Here are key developments in the phone hacking scandal involving segments of Britain's tabloid press:

November 2005: The News of the World reports that Prince William has a knee injury. A Buckingham Palace complaint prompts a police inquiry that reveals information came from a voicemail that was hacked.

August 2006: News of the World reporter Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire are arrested over the royal phone hacking.

January 2007: Goodman is sentenced to four months in prison and Mulcaire to six months for hacking the phones of royal aides. News of the World editor Andy Coulson resigns but denies knowing about the practice. In May he is hired as communications chief to Conservative Party leader David Cameron.


14 Jan: Police reopen phone-hacking investigation after News of the World says it has found "significant new information."

21 Jan: Coulson resigns from Cameron's office.

8 April: News of the World admits responsibility for phone hacking.

13 May: Actress Sienna Miller's lawyer says News of the World settled her lawsuit for 100 000 pounds. Scores more settlements eventually follow, at a cost of millions to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

4 July: The Guardian newspaper says News of the World journalists hacked into voicemails left for murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler while police were searching for her in 2002.

7 July: Amid public outrage over the Dowler revelations, Murdoch announces that week's News of the World will be the last.

8 July: Coulson is arrested.

13 July: Cameron appoints Lord Justice Brian Leveson to lead the inquiry into phone hacking and the culture and practices of British newspapers. News Corp. drops the bid to take full control of British Sky Broadcasting.

15 July: Rebekah Brooks, chief of News International and former editor of the News of the World and The Sun, resigns.

17 July: Brooks is arrested.

19 July: Rupert Murdoch appears at a parliamentary hearing, calling it "the most humble day of my life." He and son James deny responsibility for wrongdoing.

21 Oct: Rupert Murdoch faces disgruntled investors at the company's annual meeting. More than a third vote against re-electing Murdoch's sons James and Lachlan to the board of directors.

14 Nov: Leveson opens an inquiry.


29 Feb: James Murdoch steps down as executive chairman of News International.

3 April: James Murdoch steps down as BSkyB chairman, remains on the board.

15 May: Brooks, her husband and others are charged over alleged attempts to conceal evidence.

28 June: News Corp. announces its plan to split into two companies, one for newspapers and another for entertainment operations.

24 July: Coulson, Brooks and others charged with conspiring to hack phones.

23 Oct.: Four people claiming phone hacking file suit against publisher of the Daily Mirror; first lawsuits to hit newspaper outside Murdoch's empire. Several former staff of the Daily Mirror or Sunday Mirror are subsequently arrested.

20 Nov: Brooks and Coulson are charged with conspiring to pay public officials in exchange for stories and information.

29 Nov: Leveson publishes final report, accusing some sections of the press of "recklessness in prioritising sensational stories almost irrespective of the harm the stories may cause."


8 May: News Corp. says it has spent $388 million in settlements, legal fees and other costs associated with ongoing investigations in Britain since the hacking scandal erupted in 2011.

28 Oct: Trial of Brooks, Coulson and others opens at London's Central Criminal Court. Jury is sworn in the next day; judge John Saunders tells them: "British justice is on trial."

31 Oct: Prosecutor Andrew Edis discloses the first of the trial's electrifying revelations, telling the jury that Brooks and Coulson had an affair lasting several years. "What Mr. Coulson knew, Mrs. Brooks knew too, and what Mrs. Brooks knew, Mr. Coulson knew too," he says.


11 June: After 130 days of hearings, the jury retires to consider its verdicts.

24 June: Coulson is convicted of phone hacking; Brooks is acquitted.

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