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Timeline - News Corp and the phone-hacking scandal
March 14, 2012 / 4:47 AM / 6 years ago

Timeline - News Corp and the phone-hacking scandal

(Reuters) - Here is a look at the major events involving News Corporation and the phone-hacking scandal in the past seven months:

July 4, 2011 - A lawyer for the family of murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler says police have told him that her voicemail messages had been hacked, possibly by a News of the World investigator.

July 7 - News Corp announces it will close the News of the World. The July 10 edition is the last.

July 8 - Andy Coulson, a former News of the World editor who also served as Prime Minister David Cameron’s chief media adviser until resigning in January 2011, is arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications. The News of the World’s former royal editor, Clive Goodman, is re-arrested.

July 11 - Murdoch withdraws News Corp’s offer to spin off BSkyB’s Sky News channel, made to help win approval for News Corp’s bid for 61 percent of BSkyB it does not own.

July 13 - News Corp withdraws its bid for BSkyB. This pre-empts a planned vote in parliament.

-- Tom Crone, legal manager at News International, resigns.

July 15 - Rebekah Brooks, a former News of the World editor, resigns as chief executive of News International.

-- Les Hinton, who as executive chairman of News International told parliament in 2009 that any problem with hacking was limited to one case, resigns as chief executive of Murdoch’s Dow Jones & Co, publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

July 16/17 - A direct apology from Rupert Murdoch is carried in British national newspapers with the headline “We are sorry”.

July 17 - Detectives arrest Brooks.

-- Paul Stephenson, London’s police commissioner, resigns after coming under fire over the appointment of former News of the World deputy editor, Neil Wallis, as a public relations adviser to the force.

July 19 - Rupert Murdoch, questioned by parliament’s Culture, Media and Sports committee, says he was “shocked, appalled and ashamed” when he heard about the Dowler case. Murdoch says he does not consider himself personally responsible.

July 20 - Parliament’s home affairs committee releases report criticising News International’s attempts to “deliberately thwart” the original hacking investigation.

July 21 - Crone and Colin Myler, ex-editor of the News of the World, say James Murdoch’s statement to the committee - that he had been unaware in 2008 of an e-mail that suggested wrongdoing was more widespread - was mistaken.

October 21 - Rupert Murdoch deflects attempts by investors to remove him as chairman of News Corp at the company’s annual meeting. He retains his sons James and Lachlan as directors.

November 10 - James Murdoch, in a second appearance before the parliamentary committee, denies he misled the committee.

-- Murdoch reiterates that Myler and Crone had not shown him the transcripts, contained in an email dubbed the “For Neville” email, and says Crone misled parliament.

November 14 - A public inquiry, chaired by Lord Leveson and set up by Cameron, begins its investigations into media ethics.

November 29 - Paul McMullan, a reporter at the News of the World, tells the inquiry that former editors of the newspaper, including Coulson, were aware of hacking at the tabloid.

December 7 - Police arrest private investigator Glen Mulcaire as part of their Operation Weeting investigation into phone hacking. Mulcaire had been jailed in 2007 for illegally accessing the voicemails of royal aides, along with Goodman.

January 19, 2012 - News Group Newspapers settled a host of cases after acknowledging to victims that executives covered up the scale of illegal activity by destroying evidence and lying to investigators, court proceedings show.

February 11 - Police arrest five senior staff at the top-selling Sun in a probe into journalists paying police for tip-offs. Eight people were arrested in total.

-- More than 20 people have been arrested over the allegations. Their arrests are part of Operation Elveden - one of three criminal investigations into news-gathering practices.

February 26 - Rupert Murdoch launches a new Sunday edition of his Sun tabloid to replace the News of the World.

February 27 - British police and officials from the defunct News of the World stalled early attempts to investigate allegations of phone hacking, the Leveson inquiry is told.

February 29 - James Murdoch relinquishes his position as executive chairman of News International. He remains deputy chief operating officer of News Corp.

March 1 - Virginia Wheeler, the Sun’s defence editor, is arrested over allegations she made illegal payments to police and other public officials.

March 13 - Police arrest Brooks, for a second time as well as five other men including her husband, Charlie Brooks, as part of Operation Weeting, Sky News says.

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