To recap: The scandal that began in 2011 over allegations that thousands of British citizens’ phones were hacked by the UK News of the World led to that newspaper’s closing and the questioning of owner Rupert Murdoch and his son, James Murdoch, by British officials. (It also led to much discussion about the privacy and security of telephone voicemail systems.) The scandal grew to include more tabloid newspapers in the UK. Now, CNN reports that court former News of the World staffers have been sentenced to prison for their parts in the scandal:
London (CNN) — Former tabloid editor and ex-Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson was sentenced Friday in London to 18 months in prison for phone hacking offenses.
Coulson, who was editor of News of the World from 2003 to 2007, was convicted last week at the Old Bailey court of conspiracy to hack phones between 2000 and 2006. He had denied the charge. […]
Handing down sentences to Coulson and four of his former colleagues at the newspaper, owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Judge John Saunders said the Prime Minister’s ex-aide had to face the heaviest penalty.
“There is insufficient evidence to conclude that he started the phone hacking, but there is ample evidence that it increased enormously while he was the editor,” he said. […]
Coulson’s former colleagues pleaded guilty to phone hacking charges before the case came to trial.
Two of the four, journalists Neville Thurlbeck and Greg Miskiw, were each given a six-month prison sentence, reduced in part from what it could have been in light of their guilty pleas, the judge said.
Journalist James Weatherup received a four-month sentence, suspended for a year, and 200 hours of community service.