Timeline: Britain’s phone-hacking scandal

Chairman of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch, left, and Chief executive of News International Rebekah Brooks as they leave his residence in central London, Sunday, July 10, 2011.
Chairman of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch, left, and Chief executive of News International Rebekah Brooks as they leave his residence in central London, Sunday, July 10, 2011. AP Photo/File

The former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International has pleaded not guilty to all charges related to phone hacking.

Rebekah Brooks entered the plea Wednesday at London’s Southwark Crown Court along with almost a dozen other defendants in the phone hacking scandal that rocked Britain’s political and media establishment.

The scandal erupted in 2011, after it was revealed that journalists at News International’s now-shuttered News of the World tabloid routinely hacked into the voicemail messages of the rich, the powerful and other potential information sources.

The scandal rocked Britain’s establishment and spawned a substantial police investigation and a host of official inquiries.

Here’s a look at latest developments in Britain’s phone-hacking scandal.


March 21, 2002:

13-year old Milly Dowler from Surrey, UK, vanishes while walking home from school.

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April 14, 2002:

The News of the World publish a story about Milly’s disappearance, and make no effort to conceal their phone hacking, writing, “…it was on March 27, six days after Milly went missing, that the employment agency appears to have phoned her mobile.”

September 20, 2002:

Dowler’s remains are discovered by mushroom pickers in a wooded area in Yateley Heath, Hampshire, 40 kilometres from her home.

December 2005:

The British royal family suspects there has been interference with the voice messages of royal staff. Buckingham Palace calls in Scotland Yard to investigate.

January 2006:

Scotland Yard investigates the News of the World reporter Clive Goodman and hired private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who they suspected hacked into the phones of three senior aides to Britain’s royal family.

April 9, 2006:

Goodman publishes a story in News of the World, quoting verbatim a voice message left on Prince Harry’s cellphone.

August 8, 2006:

Police in England arrest three men connected to the News of the World royal family phone hacking scandal, including Goodman and Mulcaire. Police seize computers records and stacks of paperwork.

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January 2007:

Goodman is jailed for four months for plotting to intercept voicemail left on the royal aides’ phones. Mulcaire is jailed for six months after pleading guilty to the same charge. Meanwhile, Andy Coulson resigns as editor of News of the World, but claims to have known nothing of the hacking.

July 2007:

Coulson becomes the communications director for Britain’s Conservative Party under David Cameron.

July 2009:

The Guardian begins making a series of allegations against the News of the World, saying their illegal activities date back much further than the 2007 royal phone hack. The allegations note multiple politicians, athletes and celebrities the publication believes to be victim to a similar hack.

Andy Coulson tells a parliamentary committee he never “condoned use of phone hacking.”

September 2009:

Scotland Yard says it found suspected hacking victims within the royal household, government, and police.

Rebekah Brooks, former editor of the News of the World and its sister paper The Sun, is named chief executive of News International, News Corp.’s British arm.

February 2010:

The Guardian publishes a report saying three major phone companies in Britain had discovered that customers in 2007 had their voice messages hacked by Goodman and Mulcaire.

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A parliamentary committee finds no evidence that Coulson knew about phone-hacking but states it’s “inconceivable” that no one apart from royal correspondent Goodman knew about it.

April 2010:

News of the World writer Dan Evans is suspended following new hacking allegations.

May 2010:

Conservative David Cameron becomes prime minister; Coulson is named Downing Street communications chief.

December 2010:

Charges against Coulson are dropped, due to a lack of evidence. The charges stemmed from allegations that Coulson had approved the plan to hack into Prince William’s phone messages.

January 2011:

Scotland Yard says they will not reopen an investigation into the News of the World phone hacking, despite the suspension of the tabloid’s assistant editor Ian Edmondson.

New allegations link Edmondson to the hacking of actress Sienna Miller’s cell phone, as well as her then-boyfriend actor Jude Law. Miller is suing the tabloid’s parent company, News Group, after documents seized from Mulcaire imply that Edmondson was involved in hacking her phone.

Andy Coulson announces he will no longer serve as PM Cameron’s communications advisor, because of continual criticism regarding the phone hacking coverage.

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June 2011:

Sienna Miller and TalkSport presenter Andy Gray are both granted a settlement from News Group in their phone hacking claims against the News of the World. The newspaper group offered £20,000 to Gray, and was ordered to pay Miller £100,000.

June 23, 2011:

The lead suspect in Milly’s murder, Levi Bellfield, is found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for her abduction and murder.

July 4, 2011:

British newspaper The Guardian reports that the British tabloid News of the World interfered with the police investigation into Milly’s disappearance in March 2002, by illegally hacking into the 13-year old’s cellphone.

It is alleged that News of the World repeatedly intercepted phone messages left on Milly’s phone, even going so far as deleting messages in the phone’s mailbox to make room for new messages.

At a time when no one knew what had happened to Milly, her family was given false hope that she was alive, thinking she was the one deleting the messages.

The deleted messages also compromised the police investigation into Milly’s disappearance, destroying potentially valuable information.

Mark Lewis, a lawyer for Milly’s family, issues a statement, calling the phone hacking “heinous” and “despicable.” Lewis says the Dowler family will pursue damages against the tabloid.

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July 5, 2011:

Former editor of the News of the World, Rebekah Brooks issues a statement saying she was “appalled” and “shocked” when she heard the reports of the phone hacking. Brooks was editor of the tabloid at the time of Milly’s disappearance. Brooks says it is “inconceivable” she knew about the phone hacking in the Milly Dowler case.

Glenn Mulcaire issues a statement at the request of The Guardian, apologizing for anyone hurt by his activity. Mulcaire’s statement makes no reference to the Milly Dowler hacking allegations, but does say he never intended to interfere with any police investigation. Mulcaire says he was under constant pressure by News of the World to produce results.

News of the World advertisers boycott the paper.

July 6, 2011:

Media baron Rupert Murdoch says embattled executive Brooks will continue to lead his company in Britain despite calls for her resignation amid a burgeoning tabloid phone-hacking scandal.

Murdoch supported Brooks as politicians called for her to step down because of the tabloid’s actions when she was its editor.

She now heads News International, part of Murdoch’s global News Corp. empire

July 7, 2011:

UK police appeal for public’s patience while investigators contact nearly 4,000 potential hacking victims. The tabloid’s prestigious link to with the Royal British Legion suffers a major blow following reports the family members of British soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan may have also had their phones hacked.

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Michael Mansfield, a lawyer who represented the family of Princess Diana’s lover Dodi Fayed at the inquest into her death, says police have warned him his voicemails may have been hacked.

More UK companies request their ads be pulled from the News of the World. J. Sainsbury, Britain’s third-largest supermarket group, energy company Npower, national pharmacy chain Boots and mobile phone company O2 will withdraw advertising, joining Ford, Vauxhall and others which previously backed out.

July 7, 2011:

News International says it will shut down the News of the World tabloid at the centre of phone hacking scandal. James Murdoch, who heads the newspaper’s European operations, says the 168-year-old newspaper will publish its last edition Sunday. The scandal has cost the paper prestige and advertisers.

James Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer of News Corporation and chairman of News International, makes the announcement to staff. Read the full statement.

July 8, 2011:

Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor and former communications chief to British Prime Minister David Cameron, is arrested on suspicion of corruption and “conspiring to intercept communications.” Coulson is not charged.

One of his former colleagues at the paper, Clive Goodman, is also arrested, this time for suspected illegal payments to police.. He previously served four months in prison for intercepting royal phone calls. Both Goodman and Coulson are released on bail.

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Police later announce they have arrested a 63-year-old man as part of the phone hacking investigation.

UK PM Cameron announces there will be inquiries.

July 10, 2011

The final issue of News of the World hits news stands. Unofficial results say all 4.5 million copies sold, making it the highest sales the tabloid has seen since 1998.

July 11, 2011

The News of the World phone hacking scandal expands to include other publications in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. Murdoch’s empire was besieged Monday by accusations that two more of his British newspapers engaged in privacy violations that included accessing former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s bank account information and stealing the medical records of his seriously ill baby son.

July 12, 2011

The British government announces it will urge Rupert Murdoch to withdraw his bid to take control of satellite broadcaster BSkyB, in light of new details emerging in the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

July 13, 2011

British Prime Minister David Cameron vows to look into whether 9/11 victims were targeted in Britain’s phone hacking scandal, as lawmakers were poised to demand that Rupert Murdoch give up his goal of taking over a lucrative U.K. broadcaster.

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Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. gives up on making an offer to take full control of British Sky Broadcasting. News Corp. deputy chairman and president Chase Carey said “it has become clear that it is too difficult to progress in this climate.”

July 14, 2011

Police make another arrest in the News of the World scandal. Metropolitan Police said Neil Wallis, deputy editor under Andy Coulson from 2003 to 2007, was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport committee issues summonses to Rupert and James Murdoch, but it is unclear if Rupert Murdoch could be compelled to testify because he is a U.S. citizen. Rebekah Brooks agrees to appear before a hacking committee.

July 15, 2011

Rebekah Brooks resigns as chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s embattled British newspapers.

British media say Rupert Murdoch is meeting with the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, whose phone was hacked by the now-defunct tabloid News of the World.

Actor Jude Law is taking legal action against The Sun newspaper, claiming the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid hacked into voice mails for stories about his private life.

Les Hinton, the chief executive of Dow Jones & Co.,resigns. For 12 years, he served as executive chairman of the British unit that oversaw News Corp.’s U.K. tabloid newspapers at the heart of the scandal. Hinton, who became head of Dow Jones in December 2007, said in a statement that he was “ignorant of what apparently happened” but felt it was proper to resign.

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July 16, 2011

The British government defends its close contacts within Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.

Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch runs full-page “We are sorry” ads in newspapers across the UK.

July 17, 2011

London police arrested Rebekah Brooks. The former NotW editor said she was “assisting the police with their inquiries.” Brooks was arrested at a London police station at noon Sunday by appointment. She is being questioned on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications – phone hacking – and on suspicion of corruption, which relates to bribing police for information.

London’s police chief Paul Stephenson resigns. Stephenson has been criticized for hiring Neil Wallis, a former News of the World executive editor arrested last week in the scandal, as a part-time PR consultant for a year until September 2010.

July 18, 2011

The BBC reported that Rebekah Brooks will testify to a parliamentary committee, despite her arrest.

David Cameron called for an emergency session of Parliament to brief lawmakers on the spreading phone hacking scandal, trying to gain control of a crisis that is threatening Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, the upper echelons of London’s police force and the country’s leader himself.

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Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner John Yates stepped down. Yates was the official who decided two years ago not to reopen police inquiries into phone hacking and police bribery by tabloid journalists, saying he did not believe there was any new evidence to consider.

News of the World whistleblower Sean Hoare was found dead Monday morning in his Watford, UK, home. Police do not confirm Hoare’s identity, but state the death is “unexplained” but not suspicious.

London police confirm Alex Marunchak, a former employee at News of the World, was employed by Scotland Yard as a Ukrainian language interpreter with access to highly sensitive police information between 1980 and 2000.

July 19, 2011

Rupert Murdoch, his son James and the media mogul’s former U.K. newspaper chief Rebekah Brooks faced a grilling from lawmakers.

Police confirm there is “no evidence of third party involvement” in the death of phone hacking whistleblower Sean Hoare. His death is deemed non-suspicious.

Jonathan May-Bowles hurled a paper plate with a pile of shaving cream at Rupert Murdoch as he was giving evidence to the Parliament committee. On July 29, May-Bowles was convicted of assault and causing harassment.

July 20, 2011

David Cameron testifies before a parlimentary committee, defending his hiring of Andy Coulson.

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News Corp. says it has terminated legal payments to Glenn Mulcaire. The termination of the payments came one day after Rupert Murdoch told lawmakers that he would try to find a way to stop the payments “provided it is not in breach of a legal contract.”

July 22, 2011

James Murdoch was under pressure Friday over claims he misled lawmakers about Britain’s phone hacking scandal, as a lawmaker called for a police investigation and Prime Minister David Cameron insisted the media scion had “questions to answer” about what he knew and when he knew it.

Two former top staffers in the Murdoch media empire released a statement late Thursday saying they told James Murdoch years ago about an email that suggested wrongdoing at the News of the World tabloid was more widespread than the company let on – contradicting a claim by Rupert Murdoch’s son that he was not aware of evidence the eavesdropping went beyond a jailed rogue reporter.

Scottish police open their own investigation into the phone hacking scandal. Police say they will focus on whether any witnesses lied at the trial of a flamboyant Scottish politician who was jailed earlier this year for perjuring himself during a lawsuit against the now-defunct News of the World.

July 28, 2011

A senior judge on Thursday opened an inquiry into Britain’s phone-hacking scandal that will start by looking at whether the country needs tougher media regulation. Justice Brian Leveson said he has the legal power to demand evidence from witnesses – and plans to use it “as soon as possible.”

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A charity founded by the mother of a murdered child said she was targeted by a detective who worked for the News of the World. The charity, Phoenix Chief Advocates, said Glenn Mulcaire, a detective employed by the now-defunct tabloid, had the details of Sara Payne in his notes. Payne is the mother of 8-year-old Sarah Payne, whose murder by a pedophile in 2000 shocked Britain and was heavily covered by the News of the World.

August 2, 2011

British police have made a new arrest in their investigation of phone hacking and police bribery at defunct tabloid News of the World. The Metropolitan Police said a 71-year-old man was arrested by appointment Tuesday morning at a London police station.

August 10, 2011
Police in the U.K. arrest a 61-year old man in their phone hacking investigation. The man is the 12th person arrested in the News of the World scandal. Sky News identified him as Greg Miskiw, a former news editor at the News of the World. Police said he was held in custody.

August 16, 2011

Convicted phone hacker Clive Goodman warned more than four years ago that illegal eavesdropping was widely used at the News of the World and its senior journalists had approved the practice, according to a letter published by British lawmakers Tuesday.

August 18, 2011

Police confirm a 38-year-old man, who they declined to name, was arrested at a London police station after he arrived voluntarily Thursday. He is the 13th person to be arrested so far in the phone hacking saga – only one of those arrested has already been cleared.

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August 30, 2011

A person familiar with the matter says that a review launched at Rupert Murdoch’s News International in the wake of the tabloid phone hacking scandal will also weigh journalistic standards at its other U.K titles, including The Times of London.

September 6, 2011

Former News International executives on Tuesday challenged testimony given by their bosses – Rupert and James Murdoch – with one saying the media mogul had gotten it wrong when he blamed outside lawyers for improperly investigating the company’s tabloid phone hacking scandal.

September 7, 2011 
British police have interviewed a Guardian journalist over the alleged leak of information from the investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid, the newspaper said Wednesday. The Guardian identified the reporter as Amelia Hill, one of several journalists at the paper who have been pursuing the phone hacking story.

September 12, 2011 

A dominatrix’s sensational story of sex, cocaine, and tabloid wrongdoing has revived questions over the relationship between Rupert Murdoch’s scandal-hungry News of the World and Britain’s finance minister, George Osborne. Read more here.

September 19, 2011

News International, Rupert Murdoch’s division of newspapers, says it is near reaching a compensation settlement with the family of a murdered teen whose voicemail was accessed by News of the World journalists. The BBC and Sky News report the Dowler family could receive US$3.2 million, in addition to the company making a $1.6 million donation to a charity of their choice.

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September 23, 2011 

Lawyers of phone hacking victims consider asking U.S. courts to take up a case against alleged “corrupt practices” at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
October 21, 2011

Rupert Murdoch’s company said Friday it has agreed to pay 2 million pounds ($3.2 million) to the family of a murdered schoolgirl whose phone was hacked by the tabloid News of the World.
News International and the family of Milly Dowler confirmed the settlement in a joint statement.

October 24, 2011

British lawmakers said Monday they will grill Rupert Murdoch’s son James about newspaper phone hacking for a second time next month, as Murdoch’s former right-hand man denied that he knew about the scale of the wrongdoing when he paid 250,000 pounds ($400,000) to a reporter convicted of illegal eavesdropping.

November 4, 2011

A journalist at The Sun tabloid is arrested on suspicion of police corruption, British media report.

Victims of phone hacking are invited to apply for compensation. The company says in a statement it had set up the compensation plan as “a speedy, cost effective alternative to litigation” and launched a new section of its website to handle applications.
November 10, 2011

James Murdoch insists before Parliament he told the truth when he said he knew nothing of the widespread culture of phone hacking at the News of the World when he took over at News International in 2008.

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November 14, 2011

About 50 people are set to talk about their experiences as a public inquiry opens to look into the practices of Britain’s media after the phone-hacking scandal called its ethics into question. Among those taking part are “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling and actor Hugh Grant.

November 16, 2011

Lawyer David Sherborne gave details about phone hacking victims at a judge-led inquiry into U.K. media ethics set up after the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World. As Sherborne ran through the names, he told the inquiry that the now-defunct tabloid’s very foundations “were built on manifestly unholy and indefensible ground.”
November 21, 2011

Celebrities and crime victims whose personal lives have been exposed in Britain’s press will testify at a nationally televised inquiry into media ethics.
November 22, 2011

A lawyer at the British inquiry into media ethics says the media is intimidating witnesseses.
November 23, 2011

News International executive James Murdoch has resigned as a director of the companies that publish The Sun and The Times of London newspapers.
November 24, 2011

Author J.K. Rowling and actress Sienna Miller give evidence about the effect of media intrusion on their lives at phone hacking inquiry.

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November 28, 2011

Singer Charlotte Church told Britain’s media ethics inquiry that persistent press lies about her had blown her credibility “to bits” and badly damaged her career.
She also said Monday that press intrusion had a devastating impact on her family life and particularly on her mother, who she said had tried to kill herself in part because she knew a newspaper article would detail her husband’s extramarital affair.

November 29, 2011

Britain’s tabloid news agenda is driven by sensationalism rather than a desire to tell the truth, a former reporter told the country’s media ethics inquiry today. A second reporter said the industry was scarred by bullying and the use of unethical “dark arts.” Ex-tabloid reporter Richard Peppiatt told the inquiry that “much of tabloid journalism is not truth-seeking primarily. It’s ideologically driven and it’s impact-driven.”

November 30, 2011

Police said Wednesday that they had made a new arrest, a 31-year-old woman detained in northern England on Wednesday. Her name was not disclosed, although media including Sky News – which is 39 per cent owned by Murdoch’s News Corp. – identified her as a former News of the World reporter.
December 7, 2011

London’s Metropolitan police said they arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of conspiring to intercept voice mail messages and pervert the course of justice.

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December 12, 2011

A former undercover reporter for the now-defunct News of the World tabloid has told Britain’s media ethics inquiry that he only duped celebrities to expose criminality, immorality or hypocrisy.
December 20, 2011

CNN star interviewer Piers Morgan faces questions Tuesday about his time at the top of Britain’s tabloid industry – widely anticipated testimony that may dredge up allegations his British newspaper career was colored by wrongdoing. Morgan ran two British tabloids – the News of the World and the Daily Mirror – before his editorship was cut short by scandal in 2004. During the inquiry, Morgan refuses to discuss source of McCartney voice

January 19, 2012

Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper company on Thursday agreed to pay damages to 36 high-profile victims of tabloid phone-hacking, including actor Jude Law, soccer player Ashley Cole and former British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
February 8, 2012

Britain’s high court has been told nine more phone hacking lawsuits against Rupert Murdoch’s News International have been settled.
That includes a case brought by comedian Steve Coogan, which was settled for just over 60-thousand dollars.
More than 60 claims have now been resolved in the scandal that brought down the 168-year-old News of the World tabloid.
News International still faces a host of other lawsuits linked to journalists obtaining scoops using illegal means.

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February 9, 2012

Heather Mills, the former model who was once married to Paul McCartney, testifies that there was no doubt her phone had been hacked by a U.K. journalist.
February 13, 2012

The associate editor of The Sun newspaper fired off an 800-word broadside Monday at the U.K. police phone hacking investigation that has led to the arrest of some of the paper’s most senior journalists. Trevor Kavanagh called the probe a phone-hacking “witch hunt” that was threatening “the very foundations of a free press.”
February 15, 2012

Britain’s Supreme Court says it will hear the case of a private investigator who is fighting to keep secret who told him to hack phones on behalf of the News of the World tabloid.

February 27, 2012

U.K. Singer Charlotte Church receives $951,000 in a phone hacking settlement from Murdoch media.

February 29, 2012

The one-time heir apparent to media baron Rupert Murdoch is resigning as executive chairman of News Corp’s UK newspaper arm. James Murdoch says he is stepping down to concentrate his efforts on television.

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March 13, 2012 – British police make six arrests, including Rebekah Brooks, the former top executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International.
Police do not identify those arrested, but a person who had been briefed on the details said Brooks and her husband, a prominent horse breeder and a friend of Prime Minister David Cameron, were arrested at their house.

April 3, 2012 – British Sky Broadcasting PLC says James Murdoch has stepped down as chairman, but will remain a member of the broadcaster’s board.

April 10, 2012 – The names of three dozen journalists allegedly involved with a shady private investigator have been leaked to the Internet. Thousands of records recovered from the investigator suggested that a wide swath of the U-K press participated.

April 12, 2012 – Britain’s police watchdog says Scotland Yard showed poor judgment in its handling of the phone hacking scandal.

April 24, 2012 – Speaking under oath, James Murdoch defends his record at the head of his father’s scandal-tarred British newspaper arm, saying that subordinates prevented him from making a clean sweep at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid.

April 25, 2012 – Rupert Murdoch defended his globe-spanning, half-a-century long media career Wednesday, telling the official inquiry into U.K. media ethics that he never gave his editors orders on who to back or used his political sway for financial gain.

May 1, 2012 – In a scathing report, British lawmakers say Rupert Murdoch is unfit to lead his global media empire.

May 3, 2012: Rebekah Brooks is set to testify next week at Britain’s media ethics inquiry.

May 10, 2012: Brooks tells the country’s media ethics inquiry that Prime Minister David Cameron commiserated with her after she quit in the wake of the

May 15, 2012: Brooks, her husband and four others are charged over alleged attempts to conceal evidence of Britain’s tabloid phone hacking scandal, prosecutors said.

May 16, 2012: Former U.K. Minister Jack Straw says Britain’s politicians and its powerful media were uncomfortably close while Tony Blair ran the country.

May 28, 2012: Tony Blair testifies he never challenged the British press because doing so would have plunged his administration in a drawn-out and politically damaging fight.

June 8, 2012: British Prime Minister David Cameron and his predecessor, Gordon Brown, will testify next week.

June 11, 2012:  Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown accuses a Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid of personally attacking him, failing the British people and undermining the war in Afghanistan through its coverage of the conflict. In an often bitter attack on the Murdoch press in testimony to Britain’s media ethics inquiry, Brown directly contradicts Murdoch’s claim that the then-prime minister had made an abusive phone call to the media mogul in 2009. Murdoch tells the inquiry last month that Brown had vowed to “make war on your company” after The Sun switched its support to the Conservatives.

June 12, 2012: Former British Prime Minister John Major says Rupert Murdoch tried to influence his government’s dealings with the European Union. Major – who was the Conservative Party premier from 1990 to 1997 – says Murdoch had made his views clear at a private dinner.

June 13, 2012: Brooks appears in court to face charges over Britain’s phone hacking scandal that has rocked Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. Brooks was charged last month with three charges of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Prosecutors say she tried to conceal evidence from police.

June 14, 2012: Prime Minister David Cameron is set to testify about his relationship with media mogul Rupert Murdoch during an official media ethics inquiry.

July 24, 2012: Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service says Andy Coulson and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks are among those being charged over their roles in the hacking scandal.

November 20, 2012: Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service charges the prime minister’s former media aide and the ex-chief of Rupert Murdoch’s News
International with bribery offences. Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks are among four people charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

November 29, 2012: Britain’s rambunctious press braced for censure and tougher scrutiny as Lord Justice Brian Leveson released his wide-ranging report. The Leveson report criticized some members of the British press, saying they behaved in a reckless and outrageous manner.

December 21, 2012: Actor Hugh Grant settles phone hacking claim for a “substantial” but undisclosed sum of money.

February 13, 2013: Five of six journalists arrested by police investigating phone-hacking allegations are released on bail.

March 15, 2013: Rupert Murdoch is hit with an estimated 600 new allegations of phone hacking incidents at the now defunct News of the World.

June 5, 2013:  Rebekah Brooks, along with a dozen other defendant, pleads not guilty to all charges related to phone hacking scandal.

With files from The Associated Press

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