UK Phone Hacking Scandal Fast Facts

(CNN)Here’s a look at the phone hacking scandal in the United Kingdom. Journalists at British newspapers are accused of making payments to police and hacking into the phones of celebrities, law makers, royalty, murder victims and other figures in the news.

November 2005 –
British tabloid News of the World (NoW) prints a story about Prince William injuring his knee, prompting royal officials to complain to the police of probable voicemail hacking.
August 2006 – Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire are arrested for illegal phone hacking.
    January 26, 2007 – NoW editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire are convicted of conspiracy to hack into phone voicemails of royals and are jailed. Andy Coulson, editor of NoW, claims to be unaware of hacking but still resigns.
    May 15, 2007 – ThePress Complaints Commission says it found no evidence of phone hacking at NoW.
    July 2007 – Goodman and Mulcaire sue NoW for wrongful dismissal. Goodman receives 80,000 and Mulcaire receives an undisclosed amount.
    Coulson is hired as director of communications for Conservative party leader David Cameron, who becomes UK prime minister in May 2010.
    June 2008 – News Group Newspapers pays a 700,000 settlement to soccer executive Gordon Taylor, whose phone was hacked by Mulcaire.
    November 2009 – The Press Complaints Commission releases a report concluding that there is no evidence of continued phone hacking.
    March 2010 – Celebrity public relations agent Max Clifford agrees to drop his lawsuit against the NoW for a payment of more than 1 million.
    September 2010 – Former NoW journalist Sean Hoare alleges that phone hacking was a common practice at NoW and encouraged by Coulson.
    January 21, 2011 – Andy Coulson resigns as British Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman due to coverage of the phone hacking scandal.
    January 26, 2011 – British Metropolitan Police launch a new investigation into voicemail hacking allegations at NoW.
    February 25, 2011 – The High Court orders Glenn Mulcaire to reveal who asked him to hack phones.
    April 10, 2011 – News of the World officially apologizes for hacking into voicemails from 2004 to 2006, setting up a compensation system for unnamed victims.
    July 4, 2011 – It is revealed that NoW journalists possibly hacked into missing teenager Milly Dowler’s voicemail in 2002 and deleted messages to free space, causing her parents to believe she was still alive.
    July 6, 2011 – Rupert Murdoch, owner of NoW, promises full cooperation with the investigation and calls the accusations against News of the World “deplorable and unacceptable.”
    July 7, 2011 – News International announces that the July 10 Sunday edition of News of the World will be the paper’s last.
    July 8, 2011 – Andy Coulson is arrested on claims relating to phone hacking and corruption. Clive Goodman, the paper’s former royal correspondent who served a four-month jail term in 2007, is also arrested on corruption allegations.
    July 10, 2011 – The tabloid shuts down, issuing a full-page apology for the hacking scandal on page three. The cover says, “Thank You & Goodbye.”
    July 13, 2011 – News Corp. withdraws its bid to take over British satellite broadcaster BSkyB, as Prime Minister Cameron announces a wide-ranging public inquiry into the British media.
    July 14, 2011 – The FBI launches an investigation into the allegations that News Corp. employees or associates hacked into phones of 9/11 victims.
    July 15, 2011 – Rebekah Brooks, Chief Executive Officer of News International, resigns. Les Hinton, former Chairman News International, resigns as head of the Dow Jones division of the News Group Corp. and publisher of the Wall Street Journal. He was Brooks’ predecessor at News International.
    July 16 2011 – Rupert Murdoch issues apology for phone hacking via full page ads in seven national newspapers.
    July 17, 2011 – Rebekah Brooks is arrested by London police on charges of suspicion of corruption and conspiring to intercept communications. She is released on bail after 12 hours. Sir Paul Stephenson, Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the UK’s highest ranking policeman, resigns amid the growing controversy and speculation that London police were involved in the phone hacking scandal. This comes after revelations that former News of the World executive editor Neil Wallis later became a communications consultant for the police.
    July 18, 2011 – Assistant Police Commissioner John Yates announces his resignation. Yates had ruled in 2009 not to reopen an investigation of phone hacking by journalists. Home Secretary Theresa May announces that London’s police department will be investigated for corruption by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.
    July 19, 2011 – Rupert Murdoch, son James Murdoch, and former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks testify before Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee.
    July 20, 2011 – Prime Minister David Cameron addresses an emergency meeting to the House of Commons concerning the phone hacking scandal at News Group Intl and his former communications director, Andy Coulson.
    July 21, 2011 – Colin Myler and Tom Crone, former top executives of News of the World, accuse James Murdoch of giving “mistaken” evidence to a parliamentary committee about a settlement to Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association.
    August 20, 2011 – Glenn Mulcaire is ordered by the court to name who hired him to hack the phones of Elle Macpherson, Simon Hughes, Max Clifford, Sky Andrew, Jo Armstrong and Gordon Taylor.
    September 14, 2011 – Dozens of celebrities, including Hugh Grant and J.K. Rowling, are given permission to participate in a top-level inquiry into phone hacking by British journalists.
    September 16, 2011 – Police in London have applied for a court order under the Official Secrets Act to try to force the Guardian newspaper to reveal confidential sources who have provided information on the phone-hacking scandal.
    October 21, 2011 – News International, publisher of the former News of the World newspaper, agrees to pay 2 million — about U.S. $3.2 million — to the family of Milly Dowler. Also, Rupert Murdoch will pay 1 million — about U.S. $1.6 million — to charities chosen by the Dowler family.
    October 25, 2011 – In a News Corp. shareholders vote Rupert Murdoch’s sons, James and Lachlan, lose their Board of Director seats. Murdoch retains his seat, however 14% of the vote was against him.
    November 14, 2011 – The Leveson Inquiry into journalistic culture, practices and ethics opens in London. It is revealed that more than two dozen News International employees used the services of convicted phone-hacker Glenn Mulcaire.
    November 21, 2011 – The Leveson Inquiry begins hearing from witnesses in the hacking scandal and other questionable practices, including actor Hugh Grant and the mother of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
    November 23, 2011 – Gerry and Kate McCann, the parents of missing toddler Madeleine McCann, testify before the Leveson Inquiry.
    November 24, 2011 – Celebrities Sienna Miller, Max Mosley and J.K. Rowling testify before the Leveson Inquiry.
    December 14, 2011 – Former News of the World lawyer Tom Crone testifies before Parliament that James Murdoch was made aware in June 2008 of the scope of the phone hacking situation.
    December 20, 2011 – CNN host Piers Morgan, former editor of both the News of the World and Daily Mirror, testifies regarding his exact knowledge of the phone hacking scandal involving Paul McCartney and Heather Mills.
    February 8, 2012 – News of the World’s publisher pays out tens of thousands of pounds to settle lawsuits. 40,000 ($63,000) and legal costs are paid to actor Steve Coogan, 45,000 ($71,000) plus costs to politician Simon Hughes, and 75,000 ($119,000) plus costs to sports agent Sky Andrew. Former lawmaker George Galloway gets 25,000 ($40,000) plus costs and Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former communications director, will be paid costs and damages.
    February 29, 2012 – James Murdoch gives up his title of executive chairman of News Corp.’s UK publishing unit. He will keep his corporate title as deputy chief operating officer. The company says he will now focus on its pay television businesses and international operations.
    March 13, 2012 – UK police arrest six people, including former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks. All six arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977.
    April 3, 2012 – James Murdoch steps down as chairman of UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB.
    April 5, 2012 – John Ryley, the head of Sky News, admits to authorizing journalists to hack into emails of private citizens. Sky News is owned by News Corp.
    April 24, 2012 – James Murdoch testifies before the Leveson Inquiry. He insists that he knew little about the scale of phone hacking by people working for the News of the World and he had no reason to look into illegal eavesdropping by his employees when he took over the company’s British newspaper subsidiary in December 2007.
    April 26, 2012 – Rupert Murdoch admits at the Leveson Inquiry of the cover-up of phone hacking at News of the World and apologizes for not paying more attention to the scandal.
    May 1, 2012 – British lawmakers investigating phone hacking at News of the World declare that Rupert Murdoch is not a “fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company.”
    May 15, 2012 – Rebekah Brooks and her husband, Charlie Brooks, are charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
    May 28, 2012 – Tony Blair appears before the Leveson Inquiry and denies any question of an alleged deal between Murdoch and his office while prime minister.
    June 14, 2012 – Prime Minister David Cameron appears before the Leveson Inquiry. He is questioned about an October 7, 2009, text message from Rebekah Brooks, sent after the newspaper switched support to the Conservatives, and about his relationship with Brooks.
    July 21, 2012 – A News International spokesman says that Rupert Murdoch stepped down last week from a number of company boards of directors, both in the UK and the U.S.
    July 24, 2012 – The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service says that eight people will face a total of 19 charges relating to phone hacking: former News of the World staff Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks, Greg Miskiw, Stuart Kuttner, Thurlbeck, Ian Edmondson and Weatherup are accused of conspiring to intercept communications, while private investigator Mulcaire faces other charges. The accused deny the charges.
    September 4, 2012 – The number of likely victims jumps to over 1,000 people, according to the top police officer working on the case.
    November 20, 2012 – Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service announces that Rebekah Brooks will be charged with conspiracy over alleged illegal payments to a Ministry of Defence employee. In a separate case, Andy Coulson will face charges of conspiring to make illegal payments to officials for information relating to the royal family.
    November 29, 2012 – Judge Brian Leveson recommends that the UK news industry create its own regulatory body. He states that Parliament will not create a body to “regulate the press”.
    February 8, 2013 – News International settles 144 lawsuits related to phone hacking. Seven cases were not settled and are scheduled to go to trial in June.
    March 18, 2013 – Siobhain McDonagh, Labour Part MP, accepts “very substantial damages” and an apology from The Sun for accessing text messages from her stolen cell phone.
    June 18, 2013 – Eunice Huthart, Angelina Jolie’s stunt double, sues News Corp. for possible phone hacking. This is the first US law suit against News Corp.
    October 28, 2013 – The trial of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson begins.
    October 30, 2013 – It is revealed that former News of the World employees Neville Thurlbeck, James Weatherup and Greg Miskiw have pleaded guilty to phone hacking.
    January 31, 2014 – Actress Sienna Miller testifies regarding an alleged affair with Daniel Craig, which is exposed by a tabloid journalist who hacked Craig’s voice mail.
    February 20, 2014 – The day Rebekah Brooks is to take the stand for the first time, the judge formally clears Brooks of one charge of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office, in association with a photograph of Prince William dressed in a bikini at a costume party that was acquired by The Sun newspaper. The four other counts against Brooks still stand.
    June 24, 2014 – Andy Coulson is found guilty of conspiring to hack phones between 2000 and 2006. Rebekah Brooks, Charlie Brooks and Stuart Kuttner are cleared of all charges against them.
    July 4, 2014 – After being found guilty of conspiracy, Coulson is sentenced to 18 months in prison. He is released in less than five months.
    April 17, 2015 – British prosecutors drop charges against nine defendants, including Coulson, awaiting trial on charges they paid officials for information. This marks the end of prosecutions against Coulson.
    December 11, 2015 – The Crown Prosecution Service announces no further action will be taken in their investigation of the phone hacking.
    Major Players:
    Rupert Murdoch –
    Australian-born founder and CEO of News Corporation Ltd., the parent company of News International. News International owns the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times in the UK. Murdoch’s holdings also include Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and Harper Collins.
    Rebekah Brooks – Former Chief Executive of News International, editor of the News of the World at the time that the alleged hackings occurred. Brooks resigned on July 15, 2011.
    Andy Coulson – Most recently David Cameron’s communications chief and former editor of NoW, resigned after the 2007 conviction of Goodman and Mulcaire but claimed not to know about hacking.
    Clive Goodman – Former NoW’s royal editor, jailed for four months after being convicted of conspiracy to intercept phone messages.
    Glenn Mulcaire – Private investigator jailed for six months after being convicted of conspiracy to intercept phone messages.
    Hugh Grant – Actor and hacking victim, calls for comprehensive inquiry into tabloid journalism in Britain.
    Claims Paid:
    Charlotte Church, singer – 600,000
    Family of Milly Dowler, murdered teenager – 2 million
    Sadie Frost, ex-wife of Jude Law – 50,000
    Gavin Henson, rugby player – 40,000
    Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat MP – 45,000
    Jude Law, actor – 130,000
    Sienna Miller, actress – 100,000
    John Prescott, former Deputy Prime Minister – 40,000
    Hugh Grant, actor – undisclosed amount
    Christopher Eccleston, actor – undisclosed amount
    Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York – undisclosed amount
    Uri Geller, psychic – undisclosed amount

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