LONDON, June 24 Rebekah Brooks, who once ran
Rupert Murdoch's UK newspaper arm, was acquitted on Tuesday of
orchestrating a campaign to hack into the phones of celebrities
and crime victims, as well as bribing officials in the hunt for
But a jury found her ex-colleague Andy Coulson, also a
former media chief of British Prime Minister David Cameron,
guilty on phone hacking charges. The jury at London's Old Bailey
court is still deliberating on two further charges that Coulson
Below is a timeline of the phone hacking scandal which has
outraged the British public and shaken the political
Jan. 26, 2007 - News of the World royal reporter Clive
Goodman is sentenced to four months in jail after pleading
guilty to intercepting the voicemail messages of royal aides.
Editor Andy Coulson quits, saying he had not known about the
offences but that he should take responsibility. The company
says it was an isolated incident.
July 2009 - The Guardian newspaper reports that journalists
at the News of the World worked with private investigators to
access the messages of "two or three thousand" private mobile
phones. After a brief examination, the police say they will not
reopen the investigation.
2010 - In a civil case brought by actress Sienna Miller
against Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper arm News
International, three emails come to light showing the
involvement in phone hacking of another senior journalist at the
Jan. 21, 2011 - Coulson quits his job as communications
director to Prime Minister David Cameron, which he had taken
after leaving the News of the World, due to renewed interest in
the hacking scandal.
Jan. 26, 2011 - Police reopen their investigation.
June 2011 - The Guardian reveals new victims of phone
hacking throughout June, raising pressure on News International
and its parent company News Corp which was trying to
buy out the rest of pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB.
The political storm prompts the media regulator to examine
whether News Corp would make a "fit and proper" owner.
July 4, 2011 - A lawyer for the family of murdered
schoolgirl Milly Dowler says police believe her voicemail
messages were hacked in 2002. Three days later News Corp
announces it will close the News of the World. The July 10
edition is the last.
July 8 - Coulson is arrested on suspicion of conspiring to
July 13 - News Corp withdraws its bid for BSkyB.
July 15 - Rebekah Brooks, a former News of the World editor,
resigns as chief executive of News International. Les Hinton,
Murdoch's right-hand man and head of Dow Jones, also quits.
July 17 - Brooks is arrested as part of an investigation
into allegations of phone hacking and illegal payments. Two of
London's top police officers quit over two days due to their
close ties to Murdoch's firm.
July 19 - Murdoch, questioned by parliament's Media
committee, says he was "shocked, appalled and ashamed" when he
heard about the Dowler case. He describes his appearance
alongside son James at the hearing as the most humble day of his
Nov. 14 - A public inquiry, chaired by judge Lord Leveson,
begins its investigations into media ethics.
March 13, 2012 - Brooks is arrested on suspicion of
conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
May 10 - Coulson appears at the Leveson inquiry and says
Cameron's Conservative Party had asked few questions about his
past and not carried out full security checks. Brooks appears on
May 11 and provides colourful details of her friendships with
leading British politicians.
May 15 - Brooks is charged with interfering with a police
investigation into the phone hacking scandal.
Nov. 20 - Coulson and Brooks are charged with conspiring to
make illegal payments to officials for information for stories.
July 24, 2012 - Coulson and Brooks are charged with offences
relating to phone-hacking.
Oct. 29, 2013 - The phone-hacking trial begins at London's
Old Bailey, with the judge John Saunders telling the jury that
justice itself is on trial, in a case which reveals the close
links between press barons, police chiefs and senior
June 24, 2014 - The jury hands down its verdicts. Brooks is
found not guilty of all the charges and Coulson is found guilty
of a conspiracy to hack into phones. Brooks's husband, her
personal assistant and head of security are also found not
guilty of attempting to hinder a police investigation.
The jury is still deliberating on further charges for
Coulson of paying a public official.
(Reporting by Kate Holton)