April 3, 2012 / 3:11 PM / 8 years ago

Timeline: News Corp and the phone-hacking scandal

(Reuters) - Here is a look at major events in a phone-hacking scandal at News Corporation’s News of the World newspaper.

July 4, 2011 - In a major new allegation, a lawyer for the family of murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler says police have told him her voicemail messages had been hacked in 2002, possibly by a News of the World investigator. The disclosure comes days after British government gives its backing for News Corp to buy out British pay-TV group BSkyB.

July 7 - News Corp announces it will close the News of the World. The July 10 edition is the last.

July 11 - Murdoch withdraws News Corp’s offer to spin off BSkyB’s Sky News channel, made to help win approval for News Corp’s bid for 61 percent of BSkyB it does not own.

July 13 - News Corp withdraws its bid for BSkyB. This pre-empts a planned vote in parliament.

— Tom Crone, legal manager at News International, resigns.

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 16/17 - A direct apology from Rupert Murdoch is carried in British national newspapers with the headline “We are sorry”.

July 17 - Detectives arrest Brooks.

July 19 - Rupert Murdoch, questioned by parliament’s Culture, Media and Sports committee, says he was “shocked, appalled and ashamed” when he heard about the Dowler case.

News International Chairman James Murdoch arrives at the News International headquarters in London in this July 15, 2011 file photo. Murdoch resigned as chairman of BSkyB on April 3, 2012 to prevent his links to a phone-hacking scandal that has convulsed his father Rupert's media empire undermining the pay TV group, whose broadcast licence is under scrutiny in Britain. The 39-year-old is a previous chairman of News International, News Corp's British newspaper arm that was the publisher of the News of the World tabloid at the heart of the scandal before it was shut down last year. REUTERS/Olivia Harris/Files

July 20 - Parliament’s home affairs committee releases report criticizing News International’s attempts to “deliberately thwart” the original hacking investigation.

July 21 - Tom 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.

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

November 10 - James Murdoch, in a second appearance before the parliamentary committee, denies he misled the committee.

November 14 - A public inquiry, chaired by Lord Leveson and set up by Cameron, begins its investigations into media ethics.

January 19, 2012 - Court proceedings show 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.

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

February 29 - James Murdoch relinquishes his position as executive chairman of News International. He remains deputy chief operating officer of News Corp.

March 13 - Police arrest Brooks, for a second time as well as five other men including her husband, Charlie Brooks, as part of Operation Weeting, Sky News says.

— James Murdoch, in a letter, apologizes to those affected by the hacking scandal but says he was let down by senior staff on whom he had relied, allowing a scandal to escalate.

March 21 - Brooks is questioned by British police again.

Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, and News International Chairman James Murdoch, leave the Stafford Hotel in central London in this July 10, 2011 file photo. Murdoch resigned as chairman of BSkyB on April 3, 2012 to prevent his links to a phone-hacking scandal that has convulsed his father Rupert's media empire undermining the pay TV group, whose broadcast licence is under scrutiny in Britain. The 39-year-old is a previous chairman of News International, News Corp's British newspaper arm that was the publisher of the News of the World tabloid at the heart of the scandal before it was shut down last year. REUTERS/Olivia Harris/Files

March 24 - James Murdoch severs all ties with News Corp’s British newspaper business.

March 28 - Pressure is building in Britain and Australia for new investigations into News Corp, after allegations that it ran a secret unit that promoted pirating of pay-TV rivals.

April 3 - James Murdoch steps down as chairman of BSkyB.

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