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Katherine Fung

James Murdoch's Parliament Testimony: Mafia Comparisons, Blanket Denials Lead The Day (RECAP)

First Posted: 11/10/11 05:33 AM ET Updated: 11/10/11 10:26 AM ET

James Murdoch firmly denied that he misled Parliament about the extent of his knowledge of the phone hacking scandal during a lengthy grilling on Thursday.

Murdoch appeared before a parliamentary committee for the second time this year to answer questions about his role in the scandal that has plagued News Corp., his family's company, for months. He insisted that he had not been informed about the widespread criminality at the News of the World newspaper, and said that top editors and lawyers at the company had misled Parliament by testifying that they had made him aware of such evidence as early as 2008.

The nearly three hour session was dominated by clashes between Murdoch and Tom Watson, the Labour MP who has become the leading parliamentary campaigner against phone hacking. In the most electric exchange, Watson compared Murdoch to an underworld crime lord.

"You must be the first mafia boss in history who didn't think he was running a criminal enterprise," he said. Murdoch called the comment "inappropriate" and "offensive."

Other MPs were similarly dubious about Murdoch's claims. One lawmaker told him that, if his testimony was to be believed, he was a "cavalier" chief executive. Another called him deeply "incurious" and said he found it inconceivable that he was as in the dark as he claimed to be.

At the heart of the hearing was the discrepancy between Murdoch's version of events and the one laid out by former News of the World editor Colin Myler and former News International legal director Tom Crone. Both have testified that they explicitly told Murdoch that phone hacking was widespread at the News of the World in 2008. Murdoch has been equally vehement in his denial of this. A flurry of recent revelations has put a dent in his credibility, however.

On Thursday, he said that Myler and Crone had misled Parliament, and that Myler "should have told me" about the scale of criminality at the News of the World.

Murdoch also addressed the potentially looming specter of a criminal investigation at The Sun, another News International tabloid. A top reporter was recently arrested at the paper on charges of bribing police. Murdoch did not rule out shutting down The Sun—an extraordinary thing to do, given that it is the biggest-selling daily in Britain.

For a complete, blow-by-blow recap of the hearing, please read the liveblog below.

live blog

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The BBC's video is here, and Parliament's video is here.

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Here we go!

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John Whittingdale, head of the committee, starts right in and asks about Colin Myler and Tom Crone's insistence that Murdoch knew all about the reasons he was paying Gordon Taylor massive sums.

Murdoch says that the meeting he was in was for an increase of a settlement offer already made, and so did not go into any detail about phone hacking. (Myler and Crone say something completely different.)

He's also now speaking about the infamous 'For Neville' email with a lot more fluency than we can ever remember! He seems to be saying that he knew about the email, but didn't know what was so damaging about it. Which is strange.

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Murdoch also says he was not aware of a legal opinion by the company's lawyers that talked about a culture of criminality at News International and was very clear that hacking was widespread.

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James now being grilled about the Clive Goodman case. He essentially says he had nothing to do with it, and that former chief executive Les Hinton had handled it. He also says that he did not ask about phone hacking when he took over because he had no reason to believe it wasn't a settled matter.

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Murdoch says that News Corp. had a tendency to react to criticism as hostile or conspiracy-prone, and that the company should have reacted more "dispassionately." He denies that he suffered from any willful blindness.

He's also asked if he thinks crucial evidence was kept from him. He says that he definitely knows he didn't get complete evidence about the Gordon Taylor case, or many other cases. (Again, this claim is heatedly disputed!)

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Murdoch says "if" Myler had known of wider criminality, "he should have told me about those things." Yet again: Myler insists that he did say this!

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Murdoch addresses the huge pushback against the Guardian's (correct) 2009 reporting. He admits that the company pushed back "too hard," but that he didn't know that the evidence was true.

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Which is worse, knowing and not doing anything, or not knowing at all? Murdoch says that the News of the World was a tiny part of the business, and that he trusts executives. (But...he was the head of News International, of which News of the World was the biggest part.)

Chief John Whittingdale then asks why he called the committee a "disgrace" to Parliament. Murdoch apologizes.

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Thank the Lord!

Watson: Do you accept that Tom Crone prepared the memo Parliament released? Murdoch says Crone prepared a much narrower memo to the best of his knowledge.

Murdoch says that Crone's memo did say that the Taylor details were "fatal" to the News International case, but did not mention any widespread criminality.

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Watson asking about the vast chasm between Murdoch's remembrances and those of Myler, Tom Crone and Julian Pike, who all say he was made explicitly aware of wider criminality.

Murdoch again says he never saw the external legal opinion that said there was "overwhelming" evidence of illegal activity and a "culture of illegal information access."

Essentially, then, we are to believe that all of these major things were kept from Murdoch.

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James Murdoch says all he recalls from his one meeting with Myler and Crone is that they wanted to increase their settlement.

He again flatly denies that he knew of any wider criminality.

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Watson says it seems "inconceivable" that Murdoch wasn't looking at any of the documents that were at the heart of making an unprecedented settlement to Gordon Taylor. Murdoch is getting increasingly testy, and insists, "that's what happened."

TW: Did you mislead this committee in your original testimony?

JM: No I did not.

TW: So if you didn't, who did?

Murdoch says that individuals "without full possession of the facts" testified. He flatly says that Crone and Myler misled Parliament, not him. "I believe their testimony was misleading and I dispute it," he says.

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Watson says it certainly seems like Murdoch had discussed phone hacking with someone. Nope, Murdoch says.

"You are seriously suggesting" that phone hacking was not discussed with you, Watson asks. Yes, Murdoch says.

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"Do you still maintain that neither Crone nor Myler mentioned this even in passing, given the strength of words used by Silverleaf?" Watson asks. "Yes," James says, maintaining his blanket defense.

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Lots of other things haven't been raised yet: the huge severance to Rebekah Brooks, the news that News Corp. paid people to spy on hacking victims' lawyers, and the recent arrest of an editor at the Sun.

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Tom Watson says he's met Neville Thurlbeck, the former chief reporter. He recounts a meeting Neville Thurlbeck had with Tom Crone in 2008, where Crone said he was "going to have to show" James Murdoch about the evidence of wider phone hacking.

Murdoch just says nobody ever showed him the evidence. Watson says that Thurlbeck also said that Crone later told him that he'd shown Murdoch the email.

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"You're familiar with the term Mafia?" Watson asks. That goes about the way you'd think it would. Murdoch says it's "offensive" to say that News Corp. is like the Mafia.

"You must be the first Mafia boss in history who didn't he was running a criminal enterprise," Watson says. "Mr. Watson, please. That's inappropriate," Murdoch says. And with that, Watson's portion ends!

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Murdoch now being asked about the astronomical size of the Gordon Taylor settlement. He simply says that he was told that the amount was right, and presumably asked no further questions about it.

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Murdoch asked if he normally just signs off on huge settlements. He says enough evidence was given for him to do so.

"It may not be the Mafia, but it's not management today," the MP says.

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Back to those crucial meetings that did or did not take place in 2008. He sticks to the same old lines, insisting he was not made aware of any wider problems. He's also asked more about the large settlement to Gordon Taylor.

"You seem to be more vague this time round than you were the last time," the MP quizzing him says.

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@ alantravis40 : The Mafia accusation is the parliamentary equivalent of the foam pie thrown at Murdoch snr - will blot out all else that comes out

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Once more, the picture that emerges of James Murdoch is, at the very least, of a rather odd chief executive: one who is rather intensely unaware of the very deep problems those just below him are discussing, and one who signs off on huge legal settlements with seeming casualness.

Phillip Davies says Murdoch seems awfully "cavalier" with money. He says that, if a similar person at a subsidiary of Wal-Mart were given the kinds of figures he was given in the Gordon Taylor case, he would instantly ask about the details of such a settlement.

Murdoch says that he was told that the Taylor case would be lost, and that he was given a precise range of settlement money. He says the company has always delegated a lot. In his version, he trusted his deputies and took them at their word.

Davies asks what it would have taken for Murdoch to say, "let me have a look at that." Important here: Tom Crone was apparently only authorized to make settlements of up to £10,000—a lot less than the huge Taylor settlement. So why did Murdoch not bat much of an eye when he was told he would have to go a lot higher?

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Davies asks Murdoch if he's made any changes to his executive style since all of this happened. Murdoch says the company's made a lot of changes, including new boards and compliance officers.

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The Guardian has a transcript of the blockbuster exchange between Watson and Murdoch about Neville Thurlbeck.

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Murdoch says that Colin Myler and Tom Crone were very much driving the bus on the Gordon Taylor settlement. He also says he's happy to provide the committee with his calendar from 2008, but declines to say explicitly that he'll let Colin Myler access his computer files from the same period.

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Murdoch says he doesn't remember if he had a lot of knowledge about Gordon Taylor. Farrelly asks if Murdoch sat up and said, "he's not royal," meaning that this was clearly a case that was different from that of the one that ensnared royal reporter Clive Goodman, and thus was evidence of wider criminality at the News of the World.

Murdoch just says he was told that Taylor was another person Glenn Mulcaire had hacked.

Farrelly asks him if he wondered, "who the hell else has this Glenn Mulcaire been hacking?" Murdoch says he didn't. Farrelly asks if Rupert Murdoch might have been more inquisitive. James says he doesn't know.

"Are you always so incurious with the other businesses that you run?"

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Farrelly tells Murdoch that he must have been the only person to believe, after the Guardian's initial 2009 hacking report, that the scandal was limited to one rogue reporter and one private eye. Murdoch says that he was told there was no new evidence in the scandal, and left it at that.

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"What never happened was Mr. Crone and Mr. Myler showing me the relevant evidence," Murdoch says. He says that the two men had a "lot of supposition" in their testimony, and have never said definitively that the smoking gun documents were shown to him.

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"Do you think you have handled this competently?" Farrelly asks. Murdoch says he's spent a lot of time thinking about this, and feels that he behaved "reasonably given the information that I had." He does say that News Corp. took too long to come to grips with the scandal.

"Yes or no?" Farrelly asks. "No, I don't think it shows me to be incompetent."

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Louise Mensch takes over. She asks about the internal reviews that the company has promised to take. Murdoch says he thinks they're going well.

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There's been an arrest at The Sun recently, but James Murdoch says he can't talk about that. He says that he has "no knowledge" of phone hacking beyond NoW, but does not want to "prejudge" any investigations. So...there might be?

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Mensch asks about reports that Tom Crone asked private investigators to spy on hacking lawyer Mark Lewis. Murdoch says that this was "shocking" and "appalling," and that he just found out about it.

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Murdoch also apologizes "unreservedly" to Tom Watson for NI spying on him. Mensch says that it seems like every few weeks, another scandalous practice emerges from News Corp. and NI. Why not just release all the shady info at once? Murdoch says that the company has been as transparent as possible.

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Murdoch says that the use of private investigators was too widespread, and has been severely restricted. Watson, who was spied on, says it is a "great relief" to hear this.

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Watson now asking about computer hacking, but is cautioned by committee chair Whittingdale that he is straying into murky legal waters and backs off.

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Murdoch now asked if employees at The Sun commissioned phone hacks. Murdoch says he shouldn't comment. The MP asks him if he was aware that the words "The Sun" appeared in Glenn Mulcaire's private files. Murdoch says he's not aware. MP asks him if he'll shut The Sun down if evidence of phone hacking surfaces there. Murdoch says he's not going to rule anything out.

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"Wow" is the basic reaction everyone has to Murdoch saying he could shut The Sun down. That would be a huge deal.

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Paul Farrelly goes for the final question. It's about the million-dollar phone hacking payoff to super-PR man Max Clifford. Murdoch (surprise!) says he wasn't involved, though he was made aware of the settlement.

He then goes for a final final question, about Glenn Mulcaire. Murdoch says that NI will pay damages on behalf of Mulcaire, since he was doing work for the company. Farrelly says that this effectively means that NI is backing up the man who hacked Milly Dowler's phone.

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That didn't clear up much. Expect more hearings, and especially to hear more from Colin Myler and Tom Crone.

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  • Phone Hacking/Bribery Scandal Timeline

    March 2002: Days after the disappearance of 13-year old Milly Dowler, British tabloid News of the World began intercepting Dowler's voicemail messages.

  • April 2002

    Police first became aware that the paper was listening to Dowler's messages after it reported that an employment agency had called Dowler about a job vacancy, but didn't take action "partly because their main focus was to find the missing schoolgirl and partly because this was only one example of tabloid misbehaviour," according to <a href="" target="_hplink">the Guardian</a>.

  • November 2005

    A News of the World item about his knee injury lead Prince William to believe that his aides' voicemail messages were being listened to by a third party. Three royal aides also noticed that new voicemails were showing up as old. Months later, the <a href="" target="_hplink">New York Times reported</a>, News of the World editor Clive Goodman wrote a piece about Prince Harry's visit to a strip club that quoted a voice mail message from his brother William word-for-word.

  • January 2007

    Goodman (right) and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire (left) received jail time for intercepting hundreds of voicemail messages meant for royal aides. The pair accessed the voice mailboxes of three aides 609 times, according to <a href="" target="_hplink">BBC News</a>. An earlier search of Mulcaire's home turned up "dozens of notebooks and two computers containing 2,978 complete or partial mobile phone numbers and 91 PIN codes; at least three names of other News of the World journalists; and 30 tape recordings made by Mulcaire," reports the <a href="" target="_hplink">Times</a>, but the pair were only charged for hacking the royal aides.

  • July 2009

    <a href=" " target="_hplink">New allegations from the Guardian</a> that NoW paid £1m to suppress evidence of phone hacking prompted Parliament to hold new hearings two years after News International exec Les Hinton (bottom left next to Murdoch) first testified that Goodman was the only person at NoW who knew about the hacking. At the new hearing, Coulson (top left) maintained that he was unaware of phone hacking during his time at NoW.

  • September 2010

    A <a href="" target="_hplink">New York Times</a> piece alleged that phone hacking was pervasive at NoW and Coulson was aware of conversations about the practice, despite denying any knowledge about it. According to the Times: "'Everyone knew,' one longtime reporter said. 'The office cat knew,'" and reporters "described a frantic, sometimes degrading atmosphere in which some reporters openly pursued hacking or other improper tactics to satisfy demanding editors."

  • January 2011

    Coulson stepped down as communications chief, <a href="" target="_hplink">blaming media speculation</a> that he knew about phone hacking during his tenure of NoW. News editor Ian Edmondson was fired after allegations of phone hacking, and new information prompted police to re-open the investigation on NoW.

  • April 2011

    The News of the World admitted its role in phone hacking in a <a href="" target="_hplink">public apology</a> on its website and paper. Former editor Edmondson and reporters <a href=" " target="_hplink">James Weatherup</a> and Neville Thurlbeck were arrested on charges of intercepting voicemail messages.

  • June 2011

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Levi Bellfield</a> was found guilty of murdering Milly Dowler, but a second charge that he had attempted to abduct another schoolgirl was abandoned after tabloid publicity made it impossible for the jury to reach a fair verdict. News of the World paid Sienna Miller £100,000 in damages after publishing 11 articles that used private information from her messages in 2005 and 2006, according to the <a href="">Guardian</a>.

  • July 2011

    Police notified Milly Dowler's family that NoW <a href="" target="_hplink">intercepted and deleted</a> the young woman's voice mail messages, destroying possible evidence in the search for her killer. New evidence also shows that NoW targeted <a href="" target="_hplink">families of London's 7/7 bombings</a>.

  • July 8, 2011

    Andy Coulson, former communications chief to David Cameron and ex-editor of News of the World, <a href="" target="_hplink">was arrested</a> in the investigation on phone hacking at NoW.

  • July 10, 2011

    The News of the World released its final issue after James Murdoch, head of parent company News Corp's operations in Europe, made the decision to shutter the paper. The move was expected to "<a href="" target="_hplink">take some of the heat off immediate allegations about journalistic behavior and phone hacking</a>."

  • July 11, 2011

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Multiple news</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">outlets</a> reported that the Sun and the Sunday Times, also owned by parent company News International, had been hacking the voice mail box and other records of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown for years. The Sunday Times allegedly posed as Brown to obtain his financial records, and the Sun allegedly received details about Brown's son's cystic fibrosis. The <a href="" target="_hplink">revelations</a> mark the first time allegations have targeted News International's other papers.

  • July 11, 2011

    News Corp <a href="" target="_hplink">referred its bid to take over satellite broadcaster BSkyB</a> to the Competition Commission, which will delay the deal by at least six months as the company awaits regulatory clearance. British leaders have called for Murdoch to drop the bid, with Labor Party leader <a href="" target="_hplink">Ed Millibrand calling the deal</a> "untenable" and <a href="" target="_hplink">Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg calling on News Corp</a> to "do the decent and sensible thing."

  • July 13, 2011

    Rupert Murdoch <a href="" target="_hplink">withdrew its $12 billion bid for BSkyB</a>, the largest pay-TV broadcaster in Britain, after the British government withdrew its support the day before. The deal, which would have substantially increased Murdoch's foothold in the British media, appeared like it would sail through until last week. News Corp, which began to seek full ownership of BSkyB in March 2011, will keep its 39% stake in the company.

  • July 14, 2011

    The FBI <a href="" target="_hplink">launched a probe into allegations that News Corp. attempted to hack the phones of September 11 victims</a> after Representative Peter King and other members of Congress wrote to FBI Director Robert Mueller demanding an investigation. Murdoch also <a href="" target="_hplink">agreed give evidence before a parliamentary committee</a>. He had previously said that he was not available to attend the hearing, but relented after receiving a personal summons delivered to him and his son by a deputy sergeant-at-arms.

  • July 15, 2011

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Les Hinton announced his resignation as Dow Jones CEO</a>, and <a href="" target="_hplink">Rebekah Brooks stepped down as chief executive of News International</a>. Brooks presided over the News of the World during the phone hacking of murder victim Milly Dowler, and is scheduled to appear before a parliamentary committee next week. Murdoch also <a href="" target="_hplink">met with Dowler's family to apologize</a>.

  • July 17, 2011

    Brooks was <a href="" target="_hplink">arrested</a> in connection with the scandal, throwing her scheduled appearance before Parliament on Tuesday into serious doubt. In addition, Sir Paul Stephenson, the head of Scotland Yard, resigned his position, becoming the highest-profile public official yet to lose his job because of the scandal. (The Met has itself been plunged into crisis for its lax handling of the scandal and for the corrupt ties police officers developed to News International.)

  • July 18, 2011

    <a href="" target="_hplink">John Yates, assistant commissioner of the British Metropolitan Police, stepped down</a> after the resignation of chief Paul Stephenson the previous night. The scandal has focused on British police for failing to investigate evidence of News of the World's phone hacking activities and for accepting bribes for information from tabloid writers. Yates decided not to reopen the investigation two years ago, saying he did not believe there was new evidence to consider.

  • July 19, 2011

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Rupert Murdoch, son James and former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks testified in front of a parliamentary committee</a>. All three insisted that they were not aware of phone hacking activities at the tabloid. Rupert Murdoch also made clear that he would not resign. Someone <a href="" target="_hplink">attempted to pie Murdoch in the face with shaving cream</a>.

  • July 21, 2011

    <a href="" target="_hplink">A former editor and a top lawyer for the News of the World accused Murdoch of lying in his testimony </a>that he had no knowledge of phone hacking at the tabloid. The two recall showing him an email between private investigation Glenn Mulcaire and then-reporter Neville Thurlbeck with transcripts of hacked voice messages. The investigation also <a href="" target="_hplink">threatened to spread to other newspapers</a> that were named for using a private investigator to illegally obtain information.

  • July 28, 2011

    The Guardian reported that the News of the World <a href="" target="_hplink">hacked the phone of Sara Payne</a>, the mother of an 8 year old girl who was abducted and killed by a pedophile. The 2000 murder had prompted Rebekah Brooks to launch a campaign for a sex offender's law in Britain now known as "Sarah's Law." The phone that the tabloid hacked may have been one that Brooks personally gave to Payne in the aftermath of the tragedy, which Payne had praised as for helping her "stay in touch with my family, friends and support network."

  • August 16, 2011

    Clive Goodman, a former News of the World reporter, has alleged that there was a massive coverup of phone hacking at the tabloid. He was arrested for phone hacking in 2007, and now claims that former editor Andy Coulson offered to let him keep his job in exchange for saying that he was the only person at the tabloid who hacked phones. The allegations are deeply damaging to Coulson and Rupert and James Murdoch, who have all maintained that they knew nothing about phone hacking.

  • August 18, 2011

    Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator hired by the News of the World to intercept voicemails, <a href="" target="_hplink">sued News Corp.</a> over the payment of his legal fees. The company had been paying his fees since 2007 when he was found guilty of hacking the phones of aides to the royal family, but recently terminated the arrangement after Rupert and James Murdoch's testimonies in Parliament. Mulcaire himself is the target of dozens of civil lawsuits filed by suspected victims of phone hacking.

  • August 19, 2011

    Glenn Mulcaire has been ordered to release the names of people <a href="" target="_hplink">who ordered him to hack the phones of six public figures</a>. He is due to make the disclosure by the end of next week, as part of actor Steve Coogan's lawsuit against News Group. The revelations threaten to blow the defense presented by News of the World editors, who claim they knew nothing about phone hacking.

  • August 22, 2011

    News breaks that the News of the World <a href="" target="_hplink">hacked even more of Milly Dowler's voicemails than previously assumed</a>.

  • August 26, 2011

    News International is <a href="" target="_hplink">continuing to pay Glenn Mulcaire's legal fees</a>, despite the company's insistence that it would stop. The previous month, the private investigator <a href="" target="_hplink">had released the names of people who ordered him to hack phones</a>, but the names were kept confidential.

  • September 13, 2011

    News International announces the discovery of thousands of new documents related to phone hacking.

  • September 19, 2011

    Milly Dowler's family is slated to receive <a href="" target="_hplink">£3 million in a settlement</a> with News Corp.

  • September 30, 2011

    Neville Thurlbeck, a former News of the World reporter, <a href="" target="_hplink">insists that he is innocent and was unfairly dismissed</a>. His account contrasts News Corp.'s defense, which places Thurlbeck as the single rogue reporter responsible for phone hacking at the News of the World.

  • October 5, 2011

    News International <a href="" target="_hplink">faces a lawsuit from the parent of a 7/7 London bombing victim</a>, among at least 60 other lawsuits.

  • October 19, 2011

    Yet another lawyer <a href="" target="_hplink">has accused News International of misleading Parliament over its knowledge of phone hacking</a>. Julian Pike, a partner of the firm that used to represent the company, said that he saw evidence that there were more journalists involved in phone hacking in 2008. His testimony came after the company signed with a new law firm and Pike was no longer bound by client-attorney privilege.

  • October 21, 2011

    Rupert Murdoch faced angry shareholders at News Corp.'s annual meeting. Shareholder after shareholder vented frustration with the company, and Murdoch struggled to remain calm, losing his temper at one point.

  • October 24, 2011

    James Murdoch<a href="" target="_hplink"> has been called back to testify in front of Parliament for the second time</a> on November 10. His testimony will focus on discrepancies in his account, given witnesses who have said that he signed off on phone hacking payouts to Gordon Taylor.

  • October 24, 2011

    Les Hinton, the former CEO of Dow Jones, <a href="" target="_hplink">testified about phone hacking</a> in front of Parliament. The former publisher of the Wall Street Journal, who had previously testified on phone hacking in 2007 and 2009, denied that he misled Parliament in his past testimonies. He resigned in the summer, and was the most senior executive claimed by the scandal.

  • October 25, 2011

    James, Lachlan and Rupert Murdoch were all re-elected to the board of News Corp. despite <a href="" target="_hplink">huge shareholder opposition to their leadership</a>. Their tenure was never in doubt, due to the company's shareholder structure, but the majority of shareholders voted against James and Lachlan.

  • November 1, 2011

    A <a href="" target="_hplink">series of internal News International memos</a> could be damning for James Murdoch, who is set to testify in front of Parliament for the second time next week. One of the documents was prepared for a meeting between James Murdoch and Colin Myler, the former editor who challenged his account of events, and specifically discusses the hacked voice mails. The notes of Julian Pike, then-lawyer for the company, also contain incriminating phrases like "paying them off."

  • November 10, 2011

    James Murdoch <a href="" target="_hplink">testified on phone hacking in Parliament</a> for a second time. The younger Murdoch faced new evidence that he may have been aware of phone hacking at the time of his company's settlement with footballer Gordon Taylor. He maintained his innocence, claiming that he was aware that Taylor had been hacked, but that he was unaware the News of the World had targeted others.

  • November 11, 2011

    Former News of the World reporter Neville Thurlbeck <a href="" target="_hplink">speaks out against News International</a>. He said that he had been trying to warn the company about phone hacking for the past two years -- during which time he said he also collected evidence of the illicit crime at the tabloid. Police seized those materials the same week. Thurlbeck, who had been arrested for phone hacking, continued to maintain his innocence.

  • November 29, 2011

    Former News of the World features editor Paul McMullan <a href="" target="_hplink">gave an explosive and freewheeling testimony</a> about the extent of phone hacking at the British tabloid. He appeared to admit engaging in the criminal activity himself, implicated Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, and hinted that Piers Morgan had a hand in establishing the cutthroat culture where phone hacking eventually became commonplace. Among the crazier things he said were that he loved celebrity car chases before Princess Diana's death, and that "privacy is for paedos" (pedophiles).

  • December 7, 2011

    Glenn Mulcaire was arrested.

  • December 8, 2011

    New emails between James Murdoch, Colin Myler and Tom Crone could be damaging for Murdoch's defense. Murdoch reveals that Myler emailed him in 2008, asking for a meeting about the Gordon Taylor affair. Also attached to the message was a series of emails between Myler and Tom Crone, which referenced phone hacking and Glenn Mulcaire.

  • December 20, 2011

    Piers Morgan <a href="" target="_hplink">testified on phone hacking</a> to the Leveson inquiry. He maintained that he had never hacked a phone or ordered anyone to do so. His testimony grew a bit heated after he refused to describe the circumstances under which he had heard one of Paul McCartney's voicemails to Heather Mills.

  • January 19, 2012

    Jude Law was one of 37 victims of phone hacking <a href="" target="_hplink">who received cash payouts from News Corp.</a> It was the largest group of settlements announced in the scandal thus far. Fifteen of the deals amounted to about $1 million. Law was one of sixty people who sued the company alleging that their phones had been hacked.

  • January 31, 2012

    The Financial Times <a href="" target="_hplink">reported</a> that the launch of News International's forthcoming publication -- a Sunday version of The Sun -- was pushed back due to arrests at another one of the company's properties. Rupert Murdoch denied the report on Twitter. Four journalists at the Sun were arrested on charges of bribing the police.

  • February 11, 2012

    Hell is breaking loose for Rupert Murdoch's empire again -- this time, for <a href="" target="_hplink">illegal payments from journalists to members of the police</a>. Five employees at the Sun, and three civil servants were arrested on Saturday. Sources said that Murdoch plans to continue to publish the paper, and that he will be traveling to London to meet with staff members. The trip had been reportedly planned before the arrests occurred.

  • February 13, 2012

    Picture shows an arrangement of copies of The Sun newspaper front pages on February 13, 2012. Rupert Murdoch's British tabloid The Sun <a href="" target="_hplink">condemned</a> police raids against its journalists as a 'witch-hunt' worthy of former communist states, and won rare support from rival newspapers. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • February 17, 2012

    News Corporation Chief Rupert Murdoch leaves his London home, on February 17, 2012. Rupert Murdoch said on February 17 he will launch a Sunday version of his top-selling British tabloid The Sun 'very soon', as he sought to boost morale among staff left angry and hurt by a wave of arrests. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • February 26, 2012

    News Corporation Chief Rupert Murdoch holds up a copy of the newly launched 'The Sun on Sunday' newspaper as he leaves his London home on February 26, 2012. Rupert Murdoch's Sun on Sunday tabloid hit news stands on Sunday, replacing the defunct News of the World with a pledge to meet high ethical standards after a 'challenging' chapter in its history. AFP PHOTO/CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • February 28, 2012

    British police gave former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks a retired police horse to look after, it was confirmed on Feb. 28. The Metropolitan Police insisted it was not a gift horse. They said it was loaned to Brooks under a program that allows people to care for retired service animals.

  • February 29, 2012

    James Murdoch <a href="" target="_hplink">steps down</a> as the executive chairman of News International. He weathered speculation that he would resign for months since News Corp.'s phone hacking scandal broke in July 2011. He is resigning amidst continued allegations of phone hacking, and new explosive charges of bribery at the Sun.