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How the News of the World scandal unfolded

The News of the World phone hacking scandal exploded onto the world stage in July 2011, but the events that have left News Corp in turmoil since were set in motion years before the Guardian broke open this story.


  1. November 6, 2005: The News of the World publishes a story revealing details of a knee injury suffered by Prince William. Scotland Yard launches an inquiry into the report following complaints from three royal staff members.

  2. January 27, 2007 Former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman is sentenced to four months in jail for hacking the phones of members of the royal court, including the personal secretary to Princes William and Harry, Helen Asprey. Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire receives a six-month jail sentence.
  3. April 2008: Then News International chairman James Murdoch agrees to pay footballer Gordon Taylor £700,000 to settle a telephone hacking claim. Events surrounding the settlement are to become central to questions about how much Murdoch knew of NOTW's hacking activities.
  4. May 12, 2008: An amended particulars of claim is sent from Gordon Taylor's lawyers to former News of the World head of legal Tom Crone providing details of the 'For Neville' email, which leads many to question the extent of James Murdoch's knowledge of NOTW hacking.
  5. July 8, 2009: The Guardian reports that NOTW reporters, with the knowledge of senior staff, illegally accessed messages on mobile phones belonging to politicians and celebrities. The alleged acts, which Scotland Yard said it would not investigate, occurred during the tenure of editor Andy Coulson, who in 2010 is appointed Prime Minister David Cameron's chief press adviser.
  6. November 11, 2009: The UK Press Complaints Council, in response to the July 9, 2009 Guardian article, issues a report saying it found "no evidence" that phone hacking was ongoing at the News of the World.  The Commission later withdraws the report following further NOTW phone hacking revelations.
  7. February 24, 2010: The Culture, Media and Sport Committee accused the publishers of the NOTW of suffering from "collective amnesia" over phone hacking at the tabloid. The Committee also criticises the Press Complaints Commission, saying it did not properly investigate the case.
  8. September 1, 2010: The New York Times publishes a lengthy article claiming phone hacking was "endemic" at the NOTW and that former editor Andy Coulson (pictured below) personally asked a reporter to hack someone's phone.
  9. November 13, 2010: The UK Daily Telegraph reports that Andy Coulson was interviewed by Scotland Yard as a witness during phone hacking inquiries.
  10. December 10, 2010: The Daily Telegraph reports that Scotland Yard detectives are to formally advise the Crown Prosecution Service that Andy Coulson and other former NOTW employees do not have a criminal case to answer.
  11. January 2011: Scotland Yard launches Operation Weeting, a major new investigation into NOTW phone hacking allegations, following claims actress Sienna Miller and Member of Parliament George Galloway had their phones hacked. The NOTW announces it has sacked senior editor Ian Edmondson (pictured below giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry) and Andy Coulson resigns as David Cameron's head of communications.
  12. February 9, 2011: London's Metropolitan Police issues a statement saying they have identified more potential targets of phone-hacking while reviewing files relating to the original Clive Goodman, Glenn Mulcaire case.
  13. April 5, 2011: News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and former editor Ian Edmondson are arrested on suspicion of unlawfully intercepting voicemail messages and are released on bail. The arrests come as actress Sienna Miller wins a court order forcing Vodafone to hand over call data as part of her suit against NOTW.
  14. April 8, 2011: News International issues a statement saying it has asked its lawyers to establish a compensation scheme to deal with "justifiable claims" of phone-hacking "fairly and efficiently". Two days later, on April 10, the News of the World publishes on its website an apology to people whose phones were hacked between 2004 and 2006.