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David Cameron’s former spin doctor Andy Coulson and ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks will face trial over allegations linked to phone hacking in September next year.
The pair appeared at the Old Bailey today along with five former News of the World journalists and other employees from the now defunct tabloid.
It is more than six years since staff from the newspaper allegedly routinely hacked the voicemail of celebrities and even the voicemail of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler in 2002.
Ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former head of news Ian Edmondson, ex-chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and former reporter James Weatherup are all facing charges of conspiracy to access voicemails along with Coulson and private detective Glenn Mulcaire.
All attended court today except for Kuttner, who was excused from attending the hearing.
The six former NotW staff - Coulson, Kuttner, Miskiw, Edmondson, Thurlbeck and Weatherup - face one general accusation of conspiracy to access voicemails ten years ago, along with other charges related to specific people.
They are charged with conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority between October 3 2000 to August 9 2006. Coulson was NotW editor between 2003 and 2006.
There are up to 600 alleged victims, including celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Paul McCartney, Wayne Rooney and David Blunkett as well as murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, whose phone was allegedly hacked between April 9 and April 21, 2002.
Private investigator Mulcaire is accused of four counts of conspiracy to access voicemails related to particular individuals.
Brooks, 44, from Churchill in Oxfordshire, is accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice over allegations that she tried to conceal information from police investigating phone hacking and claims of corrupt payments to public officials at The Sun and the News of the World.
Her husband Charlie, 49, as well as her former personal assistant Cheryl Carter and her chauffeur Paul Edwards also attended court today accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Head of security at News International Mark Hanna and Brooks’s security staff Daryl Jorsling and Lee Sandell face the same charges.
A full dock: Former NotW staff Rebecca Brooks, Andy Coulson, Neville Thurlbeck, Ian Edmondson, Tim Weatherup, Greg Miskiw, Cheryl Carter, Mark Hanna, Daryl Jorsling, Lee Sandell and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire inside the Old Bailey
They face four counts of conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority, who appeared at the Old Bailey today
Sitting at the back of the dock wearing a cream jacket, Brooks spoke only to confirm her name during today’s hearing.
The provisional trial date is September 9 next year and all defendants have now been released on bail.
The first ever arrests over the hacking scandal came back in August 2006 when the News of the World's royal editor, Clive Goodman, and private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, were arrested by the Metropolitan Police.
In January 2007, Mulcaire was found guilty of illegally intercepting phone messages from Clarence House and imprisoned for six months while Goodman was sentenced to four months.
Renewed controversy over the phone hacking scandal led to further arrests in 2011.
Head of news Ian Edmondson and the News of the World's chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck were arrested on April 5 2011 suspicion of unlawfully intercepting voicemail messages.
A former reporter at the newspaper James Weatherup was arrested a few days later on April 14.
In the same month that the News of the World was closed in July last year, Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and Clive Goodman were arrested and bailed.
Stuart Kuttner and Greg Miskiw were arrested the following month and Mulcaire was arrested again in December 2011.
Carter and Brooks' husband were arrested over the scandal earlier this year.
PHONE HACKING PROBE: TIMELINE OF EVENTS AT NEWS INTERNATIONAL
2007: January 26 - The News of the World's royal editor, Clive Goodman, is jailed for four months and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire receives a six-month sentence after they admit intercepting voicemail messages on royal aides' phones. The paper's editor, Andy Coulson, resigns.
2009: July 9 - The Guardian reports that the News of the World's publisher has paid over £1 million to settle cases that threatened to reveal evidence of its journalists' alleged involvement in phone hacking.
Scotland Yard says it will not be carrying out a new investigation into the allegations, but the Crown Prosecution Service announces a review of material provided by the police in 2006.
2010: February 24 - A Culture, Media and Sport Committee report finds no evidence that Mr Coulson knew phone hacking was taking place at the News of the World, but says it is 'inconceivable' that no-one apart from Goodman was aware of it.
May 11 - Mr Coulson becomes head of the new coalition Government's media operation after Mr Cameron enters 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister.
September 5 - The New York Times publishes an article which claims Mr Coulson knew his staff were carrying out illegal phone hacking, which Coulson vehemently denied. The story also raises questions about how vigorously Scotland Yard pursued the case.
2011: January 21 - Mr Coulson announces he is standing down as Downing Street communications chief, saying the claims about illegal eavesdropping under his editorship was making his job impossible.
January 26 - Scotland Yard launches a fresh inquiry into the phone hacking controversy, called Operation Weeting, after receiving 'significant new information' from News International, which publishes the News of the World.
April 8 - News International admits liability and apologises "unreservedly" to a number of public figures whose phones were hacked.
July 4 - The Guardian reports that the News of the World hacked the mobile phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler after she went missing in 2002.
July 6 - Mr Cameron announces a public inquiry into the scandal. Rupert Murdoch describes the phone hacking allegations as 'deplorable and unacceptable' but backs Rebekah Brooks to continue as News International chief executive.
July 7 - News International chairman James Murdoch announces he is closing the News of the World.
July 8 - Mr Coulson is arrested on suspicion of phone hacking and corruption and held for questioning before being released on bail.
July 14 - Former News of the World executive editor Neil Wallis is arrested on suspicion of phone hacking, putting Scotland Yard under pressure to explain why it employed him as a PR consultant in 2009-10.
July 15 - Mrs Brooks resigns as chief executive of News International and is arrested two days later on suspicion of phone hacking before being bailed.
July 18 - Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner John Yates stands down following criticism of his handling of a review of the initial probe into phone hacking at the News of the World.
Former News of the World journalist and phone-hacking whistle-blower Sean Hoare is found dead at his home in Watford, Hertfordshire.
July 19 - Rupert and James Murdoch, along with Mrs Brooks, give evidence to the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee.
September 6 - The News of the World's former editor Colin Myler and ex-legal manager Tom Crone tell the Culture, Media and Sport Committee they informed James Murdoch in 2008 about an email that proved hacking went beyond a single 'rogue reporter' on the News of the World. Mr Murdoch denies their claim.
November 8 - The BBC reports that the News of the World paid private detective Derek Webb to spy on Prince William, the parents of Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe and a host of other high-profile individuals.
November 14 - The Leveson Inquiry, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, starts hearing evidence about the culture, practice and ethics of the British press.
December 12 - A lawyer for Scotland Yard tells the Leveson Inquiry it is 'unlikely' that News International journalists erased messages from Milly Dowler's phone three days after she went missing in 2002, contrary to the Guardian's original report in July.
2012: January 6 - Mrs Brooks's former personal assistant, Cheryl Carter, is arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice and questioned before being released on bail.
January 19 - The High Court hears that dozens of celebrities and politicians, including Jude Law and Lord Prescott, have now settled damages claims over the News of the World phone hacking scandal.
January 23 - A report reveals a News of the World journalist told police in April 2002 that they got Milly Dowler's mobile phone number and pin from other schoolchildren.
January 26 - Former defence secretary Liam Fox said attempts were made to hack his phone, though not while he was a government minister, and says he has met with officers from Scotland Yard's hacking inquiry Operation Weeting
January 28 - Four former and current Sun journalists and a serving Metropolitan Police officer are arrested over alleged illegal police payments. Senior Sun employees Chris Pharo, 42, and Mike Sullivan along with former executives Fergus Shanahan, 57, and Graham Dudman, are detained by officers from Operation Elveden. They are later bailed.
February 2 - Labour MP Tom Watson says he has received a letter from Scotland Yard informing him that police are investigating allegations of email hacking at The Times, after the newspaper admitted one of its reporters tried to access a private account. The Times named Lancashire detective Richard Horton as the author of the award-winning NightJack blog in June 2009 after the High Court refused to grant him anonymity. Editor James Harding later told the Leveson Inquiry that one of his reporters - named as Patrick Foster - was issued with a formal written warning for professional misconduct for gaining unauthorised access to Mr Horton's email account.
February 7 - The Metropolitan Police force admits at the High Court that it failed to warn victims and potential victims of phone hacking at the time of its original investigation into the scandal.
February 8 - Steve Coogan and Paul Gascoigne are among 15 phone-hacking damages claims which settle close to trial. The payments mean 54 of the original 60 cases have been settled. Five more are due to be heard later, while singer Charlotte Church and her parents have refused to settle, paving the way for a landmark trial on February 27.
February 11 - Eight people, including five employees from The Sun, a serving member of the Armed Forces, a Ministry of Defence employee and a Surrey Police officer, are arrested in connection with the probe into inappropriate payments to police and public officials.
Police confirm Operation Elveden has widened to include the investigation of evidence uncovered in relation to suspected corruption involving public officials who are not police officers.
February 13 - Trevor Kavanagh, associate editor of The Sun, accuses police of treating the paper's journalists like 'members of an organised crime gang'.
He also tells BBC Radio 4's The World At One that there were concerns at the way evidence passed to the police by the NI's Management and Standards Committee (MSC) was being used.
February 16 - Rupert Murdoch arrives in the UK to take charge of the latest crisis involving one of his titles.
February 17 - Mr Murdoch declares his 'unwavering support' for the Sun's journalists and announces he is lifting the suspensions of all arrested staff.
He also confirms he will begin publishing the top-selling tabloid seven days a week by launching a new paper called the Sun on Sunday 'very soon'.
February 19 - News International announces The Sun on Sunday will be published on February 26 for the first time.
February 27 - Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, the police officer leading the phone hacking investigation, tells the Leveson Inquiry officers have uncovered a 'network' of corruption and evidence suggesting 'culture of illegal payments' at The Sun which appeared to have been authorised at a 'senior level'.
March 1 - Virginia Wheeler, 32, defence editor of The Sun, is arrested on suspicion of paying public officials for information. She becomes the 23rd person to be arrested by officers working on Operation Elveden.
March 6 - It emerges that the Attorney General is looking into concerns that Ms Akers's evidence could have prejudiced any potential trials.
March 13 - Rebekah Brooks and her racehorse trainer husband are among six suspects arrested by detectives investigating phone hacking at News International. They are held on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
July 24 - Police announce that Coulson and Brooks are to face charges in connection with the hacking scandal.
September 3 - Brooks appears in court for the first time over the allegations.
September 26 - Brooks appeared at the Old Bailey alongside her husband Charlie, 49, Brooks' former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, Brooks’ chauffeur Paul Edwards, head of security at News International Mark Hanna, and security guards Daryl Jorsling and Lee Sandell who are all accused of perverting the course of justice. Five former NotW staff - Kuttner, Miskiw, Edmondson, Thurlbeck and Weatherup - face one general accusation of conspiracy to access voicemails. Coulson and Mulcaire are also accused of conspiracy to access voicemails.
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