Timeline of Britain's phone-hacking scandal
Rupert Murdoch, his son James and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks faced questions on Tuesday from British lawmakers over the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.
Here is a timeline of events so far in the crisis, which has been brewing for five years:
- August 8: Police arrest the News of the World's royal editor Clive Goodman and private detective Glenn Mulcaire over claims they intercepted mobile phone messages sent to members of the royal household.
- January 26: Goodman is jailed for four months and Mulcaire for six months after they plead guilty to hacking into the phones of royal aides.
Andy Coulson resigns as editor, saying he "deeply regrets" what happened but that he had known nothing about the practice. He takes a job as media chief for David Cameron's Conservative party months later.
- June 15: News Corp. bids £7.8 billion (8.6 billion euros, $12.5 billion) for the 60.9 percent of BSkyB that it does not already own. BSkyB rejects the 700-pence-per-share offer, saying it wants more than 800 pence.
- January 21, 2011: Coulson, now Downing Street communications director, quits over the phone-hacking row.
- January 26: Police launch a fresh inquiry after News International hands them "significant new information".
- April 5: Detectives arrest the News of the World's former news editor Ian Edmondson and chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck on suspicion of conspiring to intercept phone messages.
- June 21: News of the World pays Sky television football pundit Andy Gray £20,000 ($31,900, 22,000 euros) in damages and actress Sienna Miller £100,000 after admitting their phones were hacked.
- July 4: Reports emerge that murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler had her phone hacked by Mulcaire after she went missing in 2002. Voicemails were deleted, giving police and her relatives false hope that she was alive.
- July 6: Prime Minister David Cameron announces a public inquiry into the scandal.
- July 7: News International announces the closure of the 168-year-old News of the World, with the loss of 200 jobs.
- July 10: The News of the World publishes its final edition under the headline: "Thank You and Goodbye". Murdoch flies to London to take personal charge of the scandal.
- July 13: News Corp. withdraws its bid for BSkyB.
- July 14: Murdoch and his son James say they will appear before British lawmakers to answer questions over the scandal, after earlier refusing to do so.
- July 15: Rebekah Brooks, head of Murdoch's British newspaper operation News International and editor of the News of the World at the time Dowler's phone was hacked, resigns.
- July 16: Murdoch uses adverts in Britain's major national newspapers to apologise for the News of the World's "serious wrongdoing."
- July 17: Metropolitan Police chief Paul Stephenson resigns over force's links to former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis.
Brooks is arrested and bailed on suspicion of phone hacking and corruption.
- July 18: Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who refused in 2009 to reopen the police investigation into phone hacking, resigns.
Former News of the World reporter Sean Hoare, the first person to publicly alleged that Coulson knew about phone hacking when he edited the paper, is found dead in "unexplained circumstances".
- July 19: The Murdochs and Brooks testify to parliamentary media committee.
© 2011 AFP