Timeline of News of the World phone-hacking scandal

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Scandal-hit British Sunday tabloid the News of the World announced Thursday it was to close after it was engulfed in a phone hacking scandal which has rocked owner Rupert Murdoch's empire.

Here is a timeline of the crisis:


- 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 sent to prison 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.

- May 18: - A Press Complaints Commission report finds no evidence to suggest that anyone else working at the paper knew that Mulcaire and Goodman were hacking phones.

- May 31: The then opposition leader David Cameron hires Coulson as his media advisor.


- January 21: Coulson resigns as the newly-elected coalition government's communications chief, saying sustained speculation over his time at the News of the World is detracting from his work for Cameron.

- January 26: Police launch a fresh inquiry after News International, the paper's publisher, hands them "significant new information".

- April 5: Detectives arrest the paper'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 before fresh claims emerge that relatives of servicemen killed in Afghanistan and Iraq may have been targets of hacking.

- July 7: As a succession of companies withdraw advertising from the paper, News International chairman James Murdoch announces that Sunday's edition of the News of the World will be the last.

© 2011 AFP

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