Phone hacking: The main players

Allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World thrust the newspaper's owners, News Corporation, its UK arm, News International, and its journalists directly into the spotlight. The Met Police have identified more than 4,000 possible victims. A separate Scotland Yard investigation is also looking into claims of inappropriate payments made to police. Here are the key players in the unfolding scandal.

Hacking scandal: Key figures

Name Job/position Connection to phone-hacking investigation
Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch

Chief executive, News Corporation

The News of the World (NoW) was part of Rupert Murdoch's News International newspaper group - the UK arm of the media mogul's News Corporation global empire. During questioning by MPs, he said he was not aware of the extent of phone hacking at the NoW and he had "clearly" been misled by some of his staff. At the Leveson Inquiry into media standards, Mr Murdoch said there had been a "cover-up" of phone hacking at the News of the World that had been kept hidden from senior executives including him.

A committee of MPs said Rupert Murdoch was "not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company" and that he exhibited "wilful blindness" to what was going on in his media empire.

But the culture committee, reporting in May 2012, was split with Tory members refusing to endorse the report.

Read full profile

Rebekah Brooks

Rebekah Brooks (nee Wade)

Former chief executive, News International

Charged

(Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice) and conspiring to intercept communications)

News International's former chief executive and former NoW editor.

Mrs Brooks and her husband, Charlie Brooks, were among six people charged - in May 2012 - with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

She faces three charges of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and a further three charges of conspiracy to unlawfully intercept communications.

Mrs Brooks has denied any wrongdoing.

Questioned by MPs in 2011, she said News International had acted "quickly and decisively" in dealing with the hacking scandal and that she had never sanctioned payments to the police.

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Andy Coulson

Andy Coulson

NoW editor 2003-07

Charged

(Conspiring to intercept communications)

Andy Coulson, who was NoW editor between 2003 and 2007, resigned from his position following the convictions of ex-NoW royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire for phone hacking.

He later became Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman but quit in January 2011, saying hacking claims were distracting him from his job.

Mr Coulson was arrested in July 2011 over phone-hacking and corruption allegations and in July 2012 was charged on five counts of conspiracy to unlawfully intercept communications.

He is suing NoW after it stopped paying his legal fees in relation to the scandal. Read full profile

Glenn Mulcaire

Glenn Mulcaire

Private investigator

Charged

((Conspiring to intercept communications))

A private investigator employed by the NoW, Glenn Mulcaire, 41, was jailed in January 2007 for phone hacking. He admitted unlawfully intercepting voicemail messages received by three royal aides. He was also convicted of hacking the phones of a number of other public figures, including publicist Max Clifford and actress Elle Macpherson.

Rearrested on suspicion of conspiracy to hack voicemail messages and perverting the course of justice in December 2011, he faces four charges of conspiracy to unlawfully intercept communications.

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Ian Edmondson

Ian Edmondson

Ex-NoW assistant editor (news)

Charged

(Conspiring to intercept communications)

The former NoW assistant editor was arrested in April 2011 and in July 2012 was charged with 12 counts of conspiracy to unlawfully intercept communications.

He is lodging a complaint with an employment tribunal against News International, alleging unfair dismissal.

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Neville Thurlbeck

Neville Thurlbeck

Ex-NoW chief reporter

Charged

(Conspiring to intercept communications)

Neville Thurlbeck, former chief reporter at the NoW, was not included as part of the original inquiry as police said there was no evidence linking him to the case.

He was arrested in April 2011 and in July 2012 was charged with eight counts of conspiracy to unlawfully intercept communications.

He is lodging a complaint with an employment tribunal against News International, alleging unfair dismissal.

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James Weatherup. Copyright: Press Gazette

James Weatherup

Ex-NoW reporter

Charged

(Conspiring to intercept communications)

The former NoW reporter and news editor was arrested on 14 April 2011 and in July 2012 was charged with eight counts of conspiracy to unlawfully intercept communications.

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Stuart Kuttner

Stuart Kuttner

Former NoW managing editor

Charged

(Conspiring to intercept communications)

Stuart Kuttner served as the NoW's managing editor for 22 years before resigning in July 2009 to focus on "specialised projects", including the paper's Sarah's Law campaign.

In July 2012, Mr Kuttner was charged with three counts of conspiracy to unlawfully intercept communications. He was released on bail.

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Greg Miskiw

Greg Miskiw

Former NoW news editor

Charged

(Conspiring to intercept communications)

Greg Miskiw, 61, was arrested after visiting a police station by appointment.

In July 2012, Mr Miskiw was charged with 10 counts of conspiracy to unlawfully intercept communications. He was released on bail.

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James Murdoch

James Murdoch

Deputy chief operating officer, News Corporation

Rupert Murdoch's son, James, resigned as News International's chairman in February 2012 and from his role as chairman of UK broadcaster BSkyB in April 2012 but remains deputy chief operating officer of News Corp. He has said he was not, until recently, in the picture about the full extent of wrongdoing at the NoW. Announcing the closure of the Sunday tabloid, he said the allegations were "shocking and hugely regrettable".

He told MPs the firm had failed to live up to "the standards they aspired to". He was recalled to appear before MPs. He told the culture committee he had not seen an email which suggested hacking was more widespread at the paper than previously acknowledged.

The culture committee's report concluded Mr Murdoch was "consistent" in relation to the email, but had demonstrated "wilful ignorance" about what had been going on, which "clearly raises questions of competence" on his part.

The committee said he had shown an "astonishing lack of curiosity" for not reading emails sent to him in 2008. It said News Corporation showed "wilful blindness", for which James Murdoch should be prepared to take responsibility. But Tory committee member Louise Mensch said Conservative members were divided on the "degree of culpability of James Murdoch in particular".

Mr Murdoch also told the Leveson inquiry he never saw the email showing hacking was widespread. But it was his evidence about News Corp's bid for BSkyB that caused the most furore. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt faced calls to resign after it was revealed his special adviser was in contact with News Corp during its bid for BSkyB.

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Les Hinton

Les Hinton

Former chief executive, Dow Jones

Graphic

Les Hinton was chief executive of News Corp's financial news service Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, as well as executive chairman of News International. One of Rupert Murdoch's top executives, Mr Hinton had worked with him for more than five decades. Announcing he was quitting, he said he was "ignorant of what apparently happened" but felt it was proper to resign. Mr Murdoch said it brought him "great sadness".

The culture committee said in its report on phone-hacking in May 2012 that Les Hinton misled the Committee in 2009 in not telling the truth about payments to Clive Goodman and his role in authorising them, including the payment of his legal fee.

He also misled the committee about the extent of his knowledge of allegations that phone-hacking extended beyond Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire to others at the News of the World, the report said.

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Clive Goodman

Clive Goodman

Ex-NoW royal editor

Graphic

The former NoW royal editor was jailed for four months in 2007 for phone hacking. He admitted unlawfully intercepting hundreds of telephone voicemail messages received by three members of staff at Buckingham Palace. The investigation was sparked after Prince William became suspicious about a November 2005 NoW story about a knee injury. In July 2011, Goodman, 53, was again arrested, on suspicion of corruption. He was released on bail.

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Tom Crone

Tom Crone

Former NoW legal manager

Tom Crone told MPs he had informed James Murdoch as far back as 2008 of an email that implied hacking at the paper went beyond one rogue reporter - contrary to Mr Murdoch's earlier evidence. James Murdoch has said he stands by his original testimony to MPs.

The culture committee, reporting in May 2012, said Mr Crone and Colin Myler, former NoW editor, had misled the committee including about their knowledge of evidence that other NoW employees had been involved in phone-hacking and other wrongdoing.

After Rupert Murdoch told the Leveson Inquiry staff at the NoW kept him in the dark by covering up the phone-hacking scandal, Mr Crone accused Mr Murdoch of telling a "shameful lie".

In August 2012 Mr Crone was arrested in south-west London by police investigating phone hacking. He was held on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications contrary to Section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

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Colin Myler Colin myler

Colin Myler

Former News of the World editor

Former News of the World editor Colin Myler, now editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News, was criticised by a group of MPs examining phone hacking. The culture committee said he had misled the committee by answering questions falsely about his knowledge of evidence that other News of the World employees had been involved in phone-hacking and other wrongdoing. But Mr Myler stood by the evidence to MPs saying he had always "sought to be accurate and consistent".

The report also suggests Mr Myler and the others were used as scapegoats, to some extent, by senior management.

When Rupert Murdoch told the Leveson Inquiry that a "cover-up" at the News of the World had been kept hidden from him, he said Mr Myler was among those who had failed to report back to him.

Mr Myler, who became editor in 2007, told the inquiry in 2011 that he had accepted phone hacking must have been limited because police had not shown otherwise. But he said then he feared "bombs under the newsroom floor" in terms of possible widespread wrongdoing in the past.

Other journalists and staff

Name

Job/position

Connection to phone-hacking investigation

Neil Wallis

Neil Wallis

Ex-NoW deputy editor

Graphic

Neil Wallis was arrested by police on 14 July 2011 on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and later bailed. His media consultancy company - Chamy Media - was used by the Met Police from October 2009 until September 2010. The Conservative Party released a statement saying Mr Wallis may have also offered informal advice to Andy Coulson - David Cameron's ex-communications chief - before the last election.

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Silhouette graphic

Terenia Taras

Freelance journalist

No charges

The freelance journalist was arrested on 23 June 2011 and later bailed as part of investigations into phone hacking.

In July 2012 she was released from police bail and told no further action would be taken.

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Silhouette graphic

Unnamed 63-year-old man

Role unknown

Graphic

The man was arrested on 8 July 2011 and bailed as part of investigations into phone hacking and corruption.

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Sean Hoare

Sean Hoare

Former NoW reporter

Deceased

The former NoW journalist publicly admitted his part in phone hacking. He told the New York Times the practice of phone hacking was far more extensive than the newspaper acknowledged when police first investigated the case. He also told the BBC's Panorama it was "endemic" at the paper. Mr Hoare was found dead in his home on 18 July 2011.

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Paul McMullan

Paul McMullan

Ex-NoW deputy features editor

The NoW deputy features editor between 1994 and 2001, Paul McMullan has spoken publicly about the use of phone hacking on the paper, describing its investigations department as a "den of vipers".

Watch the interview

Alex Marunchak

Alex Marunchak

Ex-NoW Irish edition editor

The Met has confirmed Alex Marunchak worked for the force as a part-time Ukrainian translator between 1980 and 2000. In March 2011 Mr Marunchak denied allegations he had obtained emails hacked into by a private detective and paid an agency for news stories based on confidential police information.

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James Desborough

James Desborough

Former NoW showbiz writer

No charges

James Desborough joined the NoW in 2005 and later became its LA-based US editor. He attended a south London police station by appointment on 18 August and was held on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications. In March 2012, he was released from police bail and told no further action would be taken.

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Silhouette graphic

Dan Evans

Former NoW feature writer

Graphic

Dan Evans was questioned on 19 August 2011 in connection with phone-hacking allegations. He was arrested by appointment at a London police station and was later released on bail. He joined the NoW in 2005 and was suspended in April 2010.

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Silhouette graphic

Raoul Simons

Sports journalist

No charges

Raoul Simons, who used to work at London's Evening Standard before moving to the Times in 2009, was arrested in September in connection with the phone-hacking investigation and released on bail. It is understood Mr Simons was not accused of inappropriate behaviour while at the Times.

In July 2012, he was released from police bail and told no further action would be taken.

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Silhouette graphic

Ross Hall

Former NoW reporter

No charges

Ross Hall was arrested in September 2011 on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages and attempting to pervert the course of justice. The arrest took place by appointment at a north London police station.

In July 2012, he was released from police bail and told no further action would be taken.

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Cheryl Carter

Cheryl Carter

Executive assistant

Charged

(Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice)

In May 2012, Rebekah Brooks's former personal assistant Cheryl Carter was charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Ms Carter's lawyer said she "vigorously" denied the charges. Read more

She had worked for Mrs Brooks for almost two decades before they both left News International in July 2011.

Key police officers and staff involved in hacking inquiry

Name

Job/position

Connection to phone-hacking investigation

Sir Paul Stephenson

Sir Paul Stephenson

Former Met Police Commissioner

Graphic

Britain's most senior police officer faced criticism for hiring former NoW deputy editor Neil Wallis - who was questioned by police investigating hacking - as a PR adviser. Sir Paul Stephenson eventually said his links to the journalist could hamper investigations and resigned. He has been cleared by the police watchdog of misconduct over his handling of the hacking inquiry.

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Assistant Commissioner John Yates

John Yates

Former Met Police Assistant Commissioner

Graphic

Assistant Commissioner John Yates ruled out a further inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal in 2009. He has since expressed "extreme regret" for not reopening the investigation. He resigned on 18 July 2011. He has been cleared of misconduct by the police watchdog over his handling of the hacking inquiry and cleared of misconduct following claims he secured a job for Neil Wallis's daughter.

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The culture committee of MPs in May 2012 criticised Mr Yates for failing to ensure hacking claims were properly investigated. It said he had paid a "personal price" by resigning, and welcomed his 2011 apology.

Dick Fedorcio

Dick Fedorcio

Scotland Yard communications chief

Graphic

The communications chief at the Metropolitan Police, Dick Fedorcio, resigned in March 2012 after proceedings for gross misconduct were started against him.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission had investigated how he had given work to a PR firm run by ex-News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis in 2009.

It ruled Mr Fedorcio should face a hearing for gross misconduct. The IPCC found Scotland Yard staff showed poor judgement in their relationship with Mr Wallis, but no evidence of corruption. It found Mr Fedorcio "effectively employed" Mr Wallis before a written contract was prepared or agreed.

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Sue Akers

Sue Akers

Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner

The current police hacking investigation, called Operation Weeting, is being led by Sue Akers.

Under her lead, detectives are contacting nearly 4,000 people whose personal details were stored by private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. She has given evidence to the Leveson Inquiry.

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Andy Hayman

Andy Hayman

Former Met Police Assistant Commissioner

Andy Hayman was involved in the original hacking inquiry. MPs have criticised his handling of the investigation. He denies that there has been anything "improper" about his decision to write columns for News International after he retired from the Met.

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