That was one development. Meanwhile, two Scotland Yard chiefs have disclosed that their kids received internships at Murdoch papers. And the U.S. Justice Department is nosing around a former Murdoch-owned outdoor company in Russia and Romania, to see if executives at the company bribed officials for better billboard placements.
Yikes. The phone-hacking scandal is getting awfully convoluted, so I've taken the trouble of putting together a timeline of events so far. And also in the future.
August 2006. News of the World royals editor Clive Goodman and private detective Glenn Mulcaire arrested for hacking royals' cellphones.
July 2009. News Corp., it is revealed, has paid more than 1 million pounds to settle cases with celebrities whose phones have been hacked by NOTW personnel. Police inform the parents of child murder victim Milly Dowler that , while she was deemed missing, NOTW deleted voicemail messages, offering the family rays of false hope. Rupert Murdoch shuts down NOTW.
February 2012. Murdoch's Sun is implicated by British police in widespread culture of bribery of police and government officials. News Corp. now appears exposed to U.S. prosecution under Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
March 2012. James Murdoch is removed as executive chairman of the UK's News International subsidiary and presumably no longer heir to the News Corp. throne.
April 2012. Video emerges of former Murdoch exec Rebekah Brooks hosting Metropolitan Police Service Appreciation Day at the NOTW offices. When Brooks smacks Tony Blair-shaped pinata, 100-pound notes flutter out. Video catches glimpse of former Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton in the corner using a rolling pin to bludgeon a live baby seal.
February 2013. Under tough questioning in his sixth return visit to the House of Commons, James Murdoch acknowledges "a moment of confusion, due to my rather hectic schedule" in failing earlier to remember a 2002 email exchange with former NOTW managing editor and former David Cameron spokesman Andy Coulson:
[email protected] Andy , concerning your plan to increase circulation -- the one we discussed for 13 hours yesterday, please remind me, where do we get the hot tips you spoke of ?
[email protected] Mr. M, sir. For the thousandth time: from the voicemails we grab from celebrity phones because these nobs are too numpty to change the default codes. It's brilliant.
[email protected] Ah, yes. Too good to be true. Let's do it again and again and again. And, in the unlikely event we are caught, deny everything. Also, let me know when you need a refill for the bribes slush fund. Also, a message from Dad: "more nipplage."
January 2014. Construction workers unearth forensic evidence of a mass grave in Docklands. Buried there are 71 bodies of former journalists, police officers, private investigators, lawyers, bureaucrats, footballers, MPs, D.B. Cooper, Henry Hudson and Arthur I, Duke of Brittany. Police believe Arthur's quill has been hacked.
September 2014. News Corp. hosts pinata party at United Nations Security Council. Russian ambassador suffers slight cornea damage when struck in left eye by a falling Kruggerand.
June 20, 2015. On the eve of Leveson Inquiry's final report, Seal Team Six storms hollowed-out South Pacific volcano where Rupert Murdoch and 1,000 minions in matching jumpsuits and hardhats plot to control the world's weather and politics. As the commandos enter, Murdoch shields himself with wife Wendy, grabs a remote-control device and threatens to reveal Justin Bieber's darkest secret.
June 21, 2015. Asked how he felt about the previous day's shocking events, James Murdoch replies that he does not recall them.