TIMELINE-News Corp and the phone-hacking scandal

Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:23am EST

Feb 29 (Reuters) - Here is a look at the major events on News Corp in the past six months:

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

July 7 - The subsequent scandal and widespread outrage moves Rupert Murdoch to announce News Corp will close the News of the World, then Britain's best-selling Sunday newspaper. The July 10 edition is to be 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 arrested again.

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 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 - 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 denies he considers himself personally responsible. Son James Murdoch also appears before the committee.

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.

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

Nov 7 - News International admits its staff ordered surveillance to be carried out on two lawyers representing victims suing the media group over the scandal.

Nov 10 - James Murdoch, in a second appearance before the parliamentary committee, denies he misled parliament about the extent of his knowledge of hacking at News of the World.

-- 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.

Nov 14 - The public inquiry, chaired by Lord Leveson and set up by Cameron, begins its investigations.

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

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

Jan 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.

Jan 28 - British police arrest four current and former staff of the Sun tabloid s part of an investigation into suspected payments by journalists to officers.

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

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

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

Feb 27 - Journalists at the Sun newspaper paid large sums of cash to corrupt public officials, the Leveson inquiry is told. The police officer heading three criminal inquiries centred on News International says the Sun operated a "culture ... of illegal payments".

Feb 29 - James Murdoch will relinquish his position as executive chairman of News International, News Corp says. He will remain deputy chief operating officer of News Corp and focus on its international TV business.

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