News of the World phone hacking affair

Knowledge Identifier: !News_International_phone_hacking_scandal


News International phone hacking scandal

Affair involving the now defunct News of the World and other British newspapers published by News International, a subsidiary of the then-News Corporationadd

Category: Justice-Crime

Activity starting in 2005.

Countries: (46%), United Kingdom (40%), United States (10%)

Main connections: Metropolitan Police Service, Glenn Mulcaire, Clive Goodman

Linked to: Culture, Media and Sport Committee, BSkyB, BBC, British Royal Family




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In 2005 U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales after a small New Jersey marketing company called FLOORgraphics alleged that News America Marketing engaged in illegal computer espionage by breaking into password protected computer systems and obtaining confidential information add something


Investigations conducted from 2005 to 2007 concluded that the paper's phone hacking activities were limited to celebrities, politicians and members of the British Royal Family add something


Investigations into phone hacking at the "News of the World" followed the revelations in 2005 of voicemail interception by employees at the tabloid add something


Lewis, who is not connected with the Harbotte & Lewis firm, first engaged with "News of the World" in 2005 when it was moving to print a story asserting marital infidelity on Gordon Taylor's part add something


Upon release in 2005, he resumed his private investigative work for "News of the World", where Andy Coulson had become editor, succeeding Rebekah Brooks as editor in 2003 when she became editor to sister paper "The Sun" add something


A cousin of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian man shot dead by police who mistook him for a fugitive suspected of involvement in the 21 July 2005 attempted bombings in London, may have had his phone hacked by the "News of the World" after Menezes's death add something


On the day before the sixth anniversary of the 7 July 2005 London bombings, it was reported that relatives of some victims may have had their telephones accessed by the "News of the World" in the aftermath of the attacks add something


"News of the World" had paid Mulcaire £104,988 for his services, on top of which Goodman had additionally paid Mulcaire £12,300 in cash between 9 November 2005, and 7 August 2006, hiding Mulcaire's identity by using the code name Alexander on his expenses sheet add something


On 13 November 2005, "News of the World" published an article written by royal editor Clive Goodman, claiming that Prince William was in the process of borrowing a portable editing suite from &ITV (ITV_(TV_network)) royal correspondent Tom Bradby add something


In 2006, a request under the Freedom of Information Act led to the publication of a report to Parliament called "What Price Privacy Now-" add something


In 2006, in the criminal trial over the hacking of royals' voicemail accounts, it became public that the paper had hacked, among others, Taylor's voicemail add something


It was reported that Nixson's dismissal was related to the time he spent at the "News of the World" from 2006, when it was edited by Coulson add something


That Mr. Morgan did have knowledge of phone hacking is suggested in his own 2006 article in the "Daily Mail" regarding a phone message from Paul McCartney to his girlfriend Heather Mills in which Mr. Morgan stated, "At one stage I was played a tape of a message Paul had left for Heather on her mobile phone add something


The phone of chat show host Paul O'Grady was hacked by the "News of the World" after he suffered a heart attack in 2006 add something


Yates had been criticised for failing to re-open the original 2006 investigation into phone hacking at News International despite new evidence coming to light in 2009 add something


"The Guardian", referring to the Information Commissioner's report of 2006, queried why the Metropolitan Police chose to exclude a large quantity of material relating to Jonathan Rees from the scope of its Operation Weeting inquiry add something


In August 2006, Clive Goodman, royal editor at the "News of the World", and his associate Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator, were arrested over allegations of phone hacking made by the British Royal Family in 2005 add something


In August 2006, private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and "News of the World" Royal editor Clive Goodman were arrested add something


On 29 November 2006, Goodman and Mulcaire pleaded guilty to conspiracy to intercept communications without lawful authority with respect to three of the royal aides add something


An MP has released a letter from the now jailed journalist, alleging senior "News of the World" figures knew that the hacking scandal was going on, when the former royal editor, Clive Goodman, wrote his letter to News International as he appealed against his dismissal in 2007 add something


Committee member Mark Reckless, Conservative MP for Rochester and Strood, stated that the original 2007 police investigation and the 2009 review had both been hindered by the advice from the CPS, that "phone hacking was only an offence if messages had been intercepted before they were listened to by the intended recipient;" which was in fact incorrect add something


Coulson had been editor of the "News of the World" but had resigned in 2007 in the aftermath of disclosures about the hacking of phones belonging to the Royal Household add something


Despite wider evidence of wrongdoing, the royal phone hacking affair appeared resolved with the 2007 conviction of the "News of the World" royal editor Clive Goodman and the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, and the resignation of editor Andy Coulson add something


Harbottle & Lewis later commented that it could not respond to "any inaccurate statements or contentions" about the 2007 letter to News International due to client confidentiality add something


Murdoch alleged that the group's legal advisers, Harbottle & Lewis, had made "a major mistake" in its part in the internal investigation into phone-hacking in 2007 add something


Goodman and Mulcaire were subsequently charged; they pleaded guilty and were imprisoned on 26 January 2007, for four and six months, respectively add something


On 26 January 2007, both Goodman and Mulcaire pleaded guilty to the charges and were sentenced to four and six months imprisonment respectively add something


Lawrence Abramson of Harbottle & Lewis wrote a letter on 29 May 2007, to News International head of legal affairs Jon Chapman which said that they had add something


Buscombe said that she did not know the extent of the scandal when she joined the PCC in 2009, but stated that she had been "misled by the News of the World" after she had previously concluded just the opposite add something


Buscome further admitted that her statement put out in 2009, when the PCC had reviewed the 2007 evidence, that "Having reviewed all the information available, we concluded that we were not materially misled;" was now in hindsight incorrect add something


Desborough was promoted to be the newspaper's Los Angeles-based US editor in 2009 add something


In 2009, and 2010, further revelations emerged regarding the extent of the phone hacking and the number of "News of the World" employees who may have been aware of the practices add something


This letter was subsequently used by various News International executives in their defence during a parliamentary investigation into phone hacking in 2009 add something


Hoppen lodged a further claim against the "News of the World" and one of its reporters, Dan Evans, for "accessing or attempting to access her voicemail messages between June 2009, and March 2010" add something


In 2010, it was suggested that the journalistic approach of such newspapers at the "News of the World" had brought into public focus that there had been a shift away from the traditional ethics of journalism, raising serious questions about privacy, freedom of speech, and confidentiality add something


In late 2010 the Mail had sought confirmation from the Prime Minister's office of a rumour theat that Cameron had been seen out riding horses with Rebekah Brooks's husband, Charlie Brooks, a horse trainer add something


By March 2010, the paper had spent over £2 million settling court cases with victims of phone hacking add something


In April, "The Observer" reported claims from a former minister that Rupert Murdoch tried to persuade Prime Minister Gordon Brown early in 2010 to help in resisting attempts by Labour MPs and peers to investigate the affair, and to go easy on "News of the World" in the run up to the UK's general election of May 2010 add something


Later that year his media consultancy company began to advise Paul Stephenson and John Yates, two high-ranking Metropolitan Police officers, providing "strategic communications advice" until September 2010 add something


Over 90 of these have been arrested or rearrested since police investigations were renewed in 2011 add something


Rupert Murdoch - Coulson resigned his post in 2011 and was later arrested and questioned on allegations of further criminal activity at The "News of the World", specifically the News International phone hacking scandal


The Guardian - One notable scoop was the breaking of the News International phone hacking scandal in 2011, particularly with the revelation of the hacking of murdered teenager Milly Dowler's phone


Other victims of hacking included former Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner John Yates, who revealed on 12 January 2011 that his phone was hacked between 2004 and 2005 add something


On 21 January 2011, the Prime Minister's Communication's Director Andy Coulson resigned his position citing "continued coverage of events connected to my old job at the "News of the World" add something


The Metropolitan Police announced on 26 January 2011 that it would begin a new and fresh investigation into the phone hacking affair, following the receipt of "significant new information" regarding the conduct of "News of the World" employees add something


In February 2011, the Metropolitan Police investigated the claims of Scottish trade union leader Andy Gilchrist, who accused "The Sun" of hacking into his mobile phone in order to run negative stories about him; the stories were published shortly after Rebekah Brooks was installed as the paper's editor add something


The first arrests as part of the new investigation were made on 5 April 2011 add something


News International announced on 8 April 2011 that it would admit liability in some of the breach of privacy cases being brought in relation to phone hacking by the "News of the World" add something


A "News of the World" reporter and the paper's assistant news editor, James Weatherup, was taken into custody for questioning by the Metropolitan Police on 14 April 2011 add something


A third journalist at the newspaper, James Weatherup, was arrested on 14 April 2011 add something


The BBC reported on 20 May 2011 that a senior "News of the World" executive was implicated, according to actor Jude Law's barrister in the High Court add something


It was alleged that they had deleted some messages, giving false hope to police and to Dowler's family who thought that she might have deleted the messages herself and therefore might still be alive, and potentially destroying valuable evidence about her abduction and murderer Levi Bellfield, who was convicted of Milly's murder and jailed for life in June 2011 - he had already been convicted of two murders and an attempted murder which all took place after Milly's disappearance and the discovery of her body add something


In July 2011 it was reported that Mark Stephens had been one of a group of high-profile lawyers who may have been the victim of "News International phone hacking scandal" add something


In July 2011 the Ethical Investment Advisory Group of the Church of England, England's Established church, issued a statement stating that "The behaviour of the News of the World has been utterly reprehensible and unethical add something


In July 2011, it was announced that the Dowler family was preparing a claim for damages against the "News of the World" add something


In a July 2011 appearance in front of a parliamentary committee, a day after Rebekah Brooks had been arrested and bailed, Dacre told them that he had never "countenanced" phone hacking or blagging at his newspaper, as both acts were clearly "criminal" add something


In an analysis of the culture of the Murdoch empire in "Newsweek" in July 2011, one of Murdoch's former top executives was quoted as saying: "This scandal and all its implications could not have happened anywhere else add something


Prime Minister David Cameron first intimated in early July 2011 that an investigation by Parliament on media ethics and standards will be carried out add something


Disasters Emergency Committee - In July 2011 DEC accepted free advertising in the final edition of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World newspaper as the paper was closed in the aftermath of the News International phone hacking scandal


The Sunday Times - In July 2011 "The Sunday Times" was implicated in the wider News International phone hacking scandal which primarily involved the "News of the World", a Murdoch tabloid newspaper published in the UK from 1843 to 2011


Foreign Corrupt Practices Act - In July 2011, the DOJ opened an inquiry into the News International phone hacking scandal that brought down "News of the World", the recently-closed UK tabloid newspaper


It was first reported by "The Guardian" on 4 July 2011 that police had found evidence suggesting that the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire collected personal information about the family of the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler, following her disappearance in March 2002 and the subsequent discovery of her murdered body six months later add something


On 5 July 2011, the head of the Press Complaints Commission Baroness Buscombe said in interview with Andrew Neil on the BBC programme "The Daily Politics," that she had been lied to by the "News of the World" over phone hacking add something


British prime minister David Cameron announced on 6 July 2011 that a public inquiry would look into the affair after police investigations had ended add something


On 6 July 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron announced to parliament that a public government inquiry would convene to further investigate the affair add something


In the days leading up to 7 July 2011, Virgin Holidays, The Co-operative Group, Ford Motor Company and General Motors had all pulled their advertisements from the "News of the World" in response to the unfolding controversy add something


"The Guardian" reported on 7 July 2011, that former "News of the World" editor and David Cameron's former spokesman Andy Coulson was to be arrested the following day, along with a senior journalist the paper refused to name add something


On 12 July 2011, Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers told MPs and the Home Affairs committee chairman Keith Vaz that police had contacted 170 of the 3,870 people named in Glenn Mulcaire's files to date add something


On 13 July 2011, Cameron named Lord Justice Leveson as chairman of the inquiry, with a remit to look into phone hacking and police bribery by the "News of the World", while a separate inquiry would consider the culture and ethics of the wider British media add something


Brian Leveson - It was announced on 13 July 2011 that Leveson would lead the public inquiry into issues of British press culture, practices and ethics raised by the News International phone hacking scandal


Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of the "News of the World" and former chief executive of News International, was arrested on 17 July 2011 on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and on suspicion of corruption add something


On 18 July 2011, it was announced that former parliamentary commissioner for standards Elizabeth Filkin would "recommend changes to links between the police and the media, including how to extend transparency add something


On the afternoon of 19 July 2011, the HASC took evidence from both holders of the position of the Director of Public Prosecutions, for the period which covered the scandal add something


Matt Nixson was escorted by security from the Wapping headquarters of "The Sun" newspaper the evening of 20 July 2011 add something


On 20 July 2011, Cameron announced in a speech to Parliament the final terms of reference of Leveson's inquiry, stating that it will extend beyond newspapers to include broadcasters and social media add something


On 20 July 2011, the HASC published their completed report on the UK Parliament website add something


Stuart Kuttner, the former managing editor of the "News of the World", was arrested on 2 August 2011 on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and on suspicion of corruption add something


James Desborough was arrested after arriving, by appointment, at a south London police station the morning of 18 August 2011 for questioning concerning criminal activities at the "News of the World" add something


Dan Evans, a former reporter for "News of the World", was arrested and later bailed on 19 August 2011 add something


In September 2011 it was reported that the MSC was not issuing employees of News International who had had their contracts terminated with the reasons for their dismissal in case this would compromise the ongoing police inquiry add something


An unnamed 30-year-old man was arrested and later bailed on 2 September 2011 add something


The Culture, Media and Sport Committee spent 6 September 2011 questioning four witnesses: the News of the World's former editor Colin Myler, News Group Newspapers' former legal manager Tom Crone, its former group human resources director, Daniel Cloke, and News International's former director of legal affairs, Jonathan Chapman: add something


Details emerged 7 September 2011 that senior journalist Amelia Hill of "The Guardian" was questioned under caution, but not arrest, for several hours by officers from Operation Weeting the previous week add something


In an early morning raid on his North London home on 7 September 2011, deputy football editor of "The Times" Raoul Simons was arrested and held for questioning on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages by police officers from Operation Weeting add something


A reporter working for "The Sun" was arrested and taken to a southwest London police station at 10,30 am on 4 November 2011 add something


The 48-year-old "The Sun" journalist Jamie Pyatt had been arrested by detectives on 4 November 2011 investigating illegal payments to police officers by journalists and has been released on bail add something


The inquiry is scheduled to begin on 14 November 2011 add something


In January 2012 it was revealed that Surrey Police as well as other police forces knew soon after Dowler's death that News of the World staff had accessed her mobile phone messages, but did not take issue with this add something


Alexander Armstrong (comedian) - In January 2012, he played "David Bullingdon MP" in "Hacks", a television satire based on the News International phone hacking scandal


Brooks was arrested again in March 2012, this time on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice add something


In March 2012 the "Daily Mail" cited a new scandal dubbed "horsegate" as "evidence of the incestuous relationship between the Metropolitan Police and News International" and a political connection to David Cameron add something


In March 2012, after the PM's office had denied the story again for 3 days, the Mail reported that Cameron had finally admitted that he had been out riding with Brooks back in 2010 add something


On 1 May 2012, a parliamentary select committee released a report concluding that Murdoch "exhibited wilful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications," and stated that he was "not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company add something


On 24 July 2012, he was charged with conspiracy to intercept communications without lawful authority during the period from 3 October 2000 to 9 August 2006 from the phones of Milly Dowler, Sven-Göran Eriksson, Abigail Titmuss, John Leslie Andrew Gilchrist, David Blunkett MP, Delia Smith, Charles Clarke MP, Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Sienna Miller, and Wayne Rooney add something


In August 2012 the EIAG further announced that it had no confidence in News Corporation's stated intention of returning to ethical practices, and that as a result all Church of England organisations would cease investment in News Corporation add something


On 3 July 2013, Channel 4 News broadcast a secret tape in which Murdoch dismissively claims that investigators were "totally incompetent" and acted over "next to nothing", and excuses his papers' actions as "part of the culture of Fleet Street add something


The trial R v Brooks, Coulson and six others began in October 2013 add something


In December 2013 the trial judge announced that Ian Edmondson was unwell and that his case would be considered at a separate hearing when he recovered add something


On 24 June 2014 the trial jury found Coulson guilty of one charge of conspiracy to hack phones and failed to agree a verdict on two other charges in relation to the alleged purchase of confidential royal phone directories in 2005 from a police officer add something


On 30 June 2014 the trial judge announced that Coulson and Clive Goodman, would face a retrial on the outstanding charges add something


Further convictions resulted from the "R v Coulson, Brooks and others" trial which concluded in July 2014 add something


Sentences were announced on 4 July 2014, with Coulson receiving 18 months imprisonment, former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and news editor Greg Miskiw sentences of six months each, former reporter James Weatherup a four-month suspended sentence and former private investigator Glenn Mulcaire a six-month suspended sentence add something


On 3 October 2014, Ian Edmondson pleaded guilty to conspiring with Glenn Mulcaire and others to intercept private voicemails between October 3, 2000 and August 9, 2006 add something


Edmondson was jailed for eight months on 7 November 2014 add something


In September 2016, the Commons privileges committee stated that Colin Myler and Tom Crone had misled the Culture, Media and Sport Committee during that meeting by "answering questions falsely", and found them found in contempt of Parliament add something