Journalists and police: The investigations explained
- 22 January 2013
- From the section UK
The massive investigations into the activities of some tabloid journalists and their relationships with police officers began in January 2011 when the Metropolitan Police began to re-examine allegations of criminal conduct and corruption.
Rupert Murdoch's News International closed the News of the World (NoW), the newspaper originally at the heart of the affair, in July 2011. His corporation is continuing to negotiate separate compensation deals with people who say their phones were hacked.
There are a string of criminal investigations connected to the original allegations against NoW journalists. The first arrest was in April 2011 and, as of January 2013, the total held and questioned had reached 95. Of those, 20 have been charged. Nine of the 95 were released with no further action by the police.
Operation Weeting: Alleged hacking
The inquiries began with Operation Weeting, the investigation into whether journalists illegally intercepted voicemail messages left on mobile phones.
In 2007, Clive Goodman, the then royal editor of the NoW, and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, were jailed for hacking mobiles. The inquiry was then closed.
Scotland Yard only reopened its investigations after details of further alleged phone hacking emerged.
Eight people have been charged in relation to alleged phone hacking - seven of them journalists, plus Glenn Mulcaire.
They also include the NoW's former managing editor Stuart Kuttner, and former editor Andy Coulson, also a former head of communications for Prime Minister David Cameron, and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks.
The allegation made against these three relates to the alleged hacking of the mobile phone of Milly Dowler, the Surrey schoolgirl murdered in 2002.
Ms Brooks and Mr Coulson issued statements after they were charged denying the allegations.
In all, Metropolitan Police detectives have arrested 26 people under Operation Weeting, and the inquiries continue.
Operation Elveden: Alleged corruption
This second operation is related to Weeting but concerns allegations journalists offered inappropriate payments to public officials in exchange for information.
Some 56 people have been arrested by Operation Elveden detectives. Among the arrests are eight serving or retired police officers.
One of these is Det Ch Insp April Casburn, of the Metropolitan Police. She became the first person to be convicted under Operation Elveden when in January 2013, a jury found her guilty of offering to sell insider information relating to the reopened phone hacking inquiry to the NoW.
In a separate decision, in November 2012, five other people were charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.
Andy Coulson and Clive Goodman were charged with offering payments for a Buckingham Palace phonebook containing contact details for members of the Royal Family.
Rebekah Brooks and John Kay, a reporter from the Sun, were charged alongside civil servant Bettina Jordan-Barber over an alleged payment of £100,000 for information used in news stories.
The CPS has also charged a former Metropolitan police officer, Paul Flattley, and Virginia Wheeler, a journalist from The Sun, with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. The charge relates to alleged payments to Mr Flattley in exchange for information.
Operation Tuleta: Alleged computer hacking
The third major inquiry is Tuleta, which is looking at whether journalists gained unauthorised access to personal and private computers as part of an effort to gain information held as electronic data.
Metropolitan Police detectives have arrested 19 people as part of this inquiry, but nobody has been charged so far.
Most of the arrests have been on suspicion of conspiracy to misuse computers and alleged breaches of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, the law governing who can intercept communications and in what circumstances.
A number of the arrests relate to investigations by detectives into the alleged illegal access of data held in mobile phones.
Three of the Tuleta arrests are part of a sub-inquiry into alleged computer hacking, called Operation Kalmyk.
Rebekah Brooks, her husband, Charlie, and others have been separately charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, a case that has not yet come before the courts. They have denied the allegation.
Andy Coulson has separately been charged with perjury by Strathclyde Police in relation to evidence he gave at the 2010 trial of the former Scottish Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan.
Hacking compensation claims
When the details of hacking began to emerge, in 2011, News International set up a process to settle claims for compensation without having to go through lengthy and expensive court battles.
To date, approximately 200 people who say their phones were hacked have received pay-outs from Rupert Murdoch's empire, some of them did so without having to begin court proceedings.
The smallest amounts that News International have paid out are thought to have been between £10,000 and £20,000. The highest has been £3m given to the family of Milly Dowler, £1m of which went to charity.
The singer Charlotte Church and her family received £600,000. Actors Sienna Miller and Jude Law received £100,000 and £130,000 respectively.