Anger over the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone led Rupert Murdoch to close 168-year-old News of the World in July 2011.

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CNN  — 

Here’s a look at the phone hacking scandal in the United Kingdom. Journalists at British newspapers are accused of making payments to police and hacking into the phones of celebrities, law makers, royalty, murder victims and other figures in the news. Most cases involve News Corp.’s News of the World, but the Sun as well as Mirror Group publications have also settled cases.


November 2005 - British tabloid News of the World (NoW) prints a story about Prince William injuring his knee, prompting royal officials to complain to the police of probable voicemail hacking.

August 2006 - NoW editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire are arrested for illegal phone hacking.

January 26, 2007 - Goodman and Mulcaire are convicted of conspiracy to hack into phone voicemails of royals and are jailed. Andy Coulson, editor of NoW, claims to be unaware of hacking but still resigns.

May 15, 2007 - The Press Complaints Commission says it found no evidence of phone hacking at NoW.

July 2007 - Goodman and Mulcaire sue NoW for wrongful dismissal. Goodman receives £80,000 and Mulcaire receives an undisclosed amount.
Coulson is hired as director of communications for Conservative party leader David Cameron, who becomes UK prime minister in May 2010.

June 2008 - News Group Newspapers pays £700,000 to Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association, whose phone was hacked by Mulcaire.

November 2009 - The Press Complaints Commission releases a report concluding that there is no evidence of continued phone hacking.

March 2010 - Celebrity public relations agent Max Clifford agrees to drop his lawsuit against NoW for a payment of more than £1 million.

September 2010 - Former NoW journalist Sean Hoare alleges that phone hacking was a common practice at NoW and encouraged by Coulson.

January 21, 2011 - Coulson resigns as British Prime Minister Cameron’s spokesman due to coverage of the phone hacking scandal.

January 26, 2011 - British Metropolitan Police launch a new investigation into voicemail hacking allegations at NoW.

February 25, 2011 - The High Court orders Mulcaire to reveal who asked him to hack phones.

April 10, 2011 - NoW officially apologizes for hacking into voicemails from 2004 to 2006, setting up a compensation system for unnamed victims.

July 4, 2011 - It is revealed that NoW journalists possibly hacked into missing teenager Milly Dowler’s voicemail in 2002 and deleted messages to free space, causing her parents to believe she was still alive.

July 6, 2011 - Rupert Murdoch, owner of NoW, promises full cooperation with the investigation and calls the accusations against NoW “deplorable and unacceptable.”

July 7, 2011 - News International announces that the July 10 Sunday edition of NoW will be the paper’s last.

July 8, 2011 - Coulson is arrested on claims relating to phone hacking and corruption. Goodman, the paper’s former royal correspondent who served a four-month jail term in 2007, is also arrested on corruption allegations.

July 10, 2011 - The tabloid shuts down, issuing a full-page apology for the hacking scandal on page three. The cover says, “Thank You & Goodbye.”

July 13, 2011 - News Corp. withdraws its bid to take over British satellite broadcaster BSkyB, as Prime Minister Cameron announces a wide-ranging public inquiry into the British media.

July 14, 2011 - The FBI launches an investigation into the allegations that News Corp. employees or associates hacked into phones of 9/11 victims.

July 15, 2011 - Rebekah Brooks, Chief Executive Officer of News International, resigns. Les Hinton, former Chairman News International, resigns as head of the Dow Jones division of the News Group Corp. and publisher of the Wall Street Journal. He was Brooks’ predecessor at News International.

July 16, 2011 - Murdoch issues an apology for phone hacking via full page ads in seven national newspapers.

July 17, 2011 - Brooks is arrested by London police on charges of suspicion of corruption and conspiring to intercept communications. She is released on bail after 12 hours. Sir Paul Stephenson, Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the UK’s highest-ranking policeman, resigns amid the growing controversy and speculation that London police were involved in the phone hacking scandal. This comes after revelations that former NoW executive editor Neil Wallis later became a communications consultant for the police.

July 18, 2011 - Assistant Police Commissioner John Yates announces his resignation. Yates had ruled in 2009 not to reopen an investigation of phone hacking by journalists. Home Secretary Theresa May announces that London’s police department will be investigated for corruption by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

July 19, 2011 - Murdoch, his son James Murdoch, and former NoW editor Brooks testify before Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

July 20, 2011 - Prime Minister Cameron addresses an emergency meeting to the House of Commons concerning the phone hacking scandal at News Group International and his former communications director, Coulson.

July 21, 2011 - Colin Myler and Tom Crone, former top executives of NoW, accuse James Murdoch of giving “mistaken” evidence to a parliamentary committee about a settlement to Taylor.

August 20, 2011 - Mulcaire is ordered by the court to name who hired him to hack the phones of Clifford, Taylor, Elle Macpherson, Simon Hughes, Sky Andrew and Jo Armstrong.

September 14, 2011 - Dozens of celebrities, including Hugh Grant and J.K. Rowling, are given permission to participate in a top-level inquiry into phone hacking by British journalists.

September 16, 2011 - Police in London have applied for a court order under the Official Secrets Act to try to force the Guardian newspaper to reveal confidential sources who have provided information on the phone-hacking scandal.

October 21, 2011 - News International, publisher of the former NoW newspaper, agrees to pay £2 million – about US $3.2 million – to the family of Dowler. Also, Murdoch will pay £1 million – about US $1.6 million – to charities chosen by the Dowler family.

October 25, 2011 - In a News Corp. shareholders vote Murdoch retains his seat, however 14% of the vote is against him. Murdoch’s sons, James Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch, lose their Board of Director seats.

November 14, 2011 - The Leveson Inquiry into journalistic culture, practices and ethics opens in London. It is revealed that more than two dozen News International employees used the services of convicted phone hacker Mulcaire.

November 21, 2011 - The Leveson Inquiry begins hearing from witnesses, including Grant and the mother of Dowler, in the hacking scandal and in other questionable practices.

November 23, 2011 - Gerry McCann and Kate McCann, the parents of missing toddler Madeleine McCann, testify before the Leveson Inquiry.

November 24, 2011 - Celebrities Rowling, Sienna Miller and Max Mosley testify before the Leveson Inquiry.

December 14, 2011 - Crone, a former NoW lawyer, testifies before Parliament that James Murdoch was made aware in June 2008 of the scope of the phone hacking situation.

December 20, 2011 - CNN host Piers Morgan, former editor of both NoW and the Daily Mirror, testifies regarding his exact knowledge of the phone hacking scandal involving Paul McCartney and Heather Mills.

February 8, 2012 - NoW’s publisher pays out tens of thousands of pounds to settle lawsuits, including £40,000 ($63,000) and legal costs to actor Steve Coogan, £45,000 ($71,000) plus costs to Hughes, and £75,000 ($119,000) plus costs to sports agent Andrew. Former lawmaker George Galloway gets £25,000 ($40,000) plus costs. Alastair Campbel