Published July 24, 2012
LONDON – On Tuesday, British prosecutors announced charges against eight people alleged to have been involved in a phone hacking scheme with more than 600 targets. The following are some prominent alleged victims:
Amanda "Milly" Dowler
The 13-year-old girl was abducted on March 21, 2002, in a case that drew national attention. She was found murdered on Sept. 18, 2002.
Journalists from the Sunday tabloid News of the World were alleged to have hacked her mobile phone, listened to her voicemail messages, and deleted some of them in order to make room for more. The deletions — which may have happened automatically — gave investigators and Dowler's family hope that she was still alive.
An exhaustive investigation did not uncover any proof that the News of the World deleted Milly's voicemails, but the case remains the most emotive example of tabloid intrusion. The claims led Rupert Murdoch to close the newspaper and prompted a renewed police investigation which produced the latest criminal charges.
The Dowler family settled its lawsuit against the publisher for 3 million pounds ($4.7 million), including a 1 million-pound payment to a charity of their choice.
In 2006, the former Beatle — still one of the world's most popular musicians — was engaged in an acrimonious split from his second wife, Heather Mills. The criminal charges relate to the period shortly after they announced their separation in May of that year.
She is also described as a target of a conspiracy to intercept communications. Mills has accused CNN interviewer Piers Morgan, who has not been charged in the current case, of accessing a message which McCartney left on her phone in 2001 when he was a newspaper editor in London.
The charges relate to the period between the actress's adoption of an Ethiopian infant, named Zahara Marley, in July 2005, and the birth of Shiloh Nouvel, her child by Brad Pitt, on May 27, 2006.
The actor is listed as an alleged victim in the same period as Jolie. The two are considered Hollywood royalty and are frequently followed by paparazzi.
The film star won a settlement of 130,000 pounds in January in his civil suit alleging that News Group Newspapers hacked his telephone. The charge relates to the period between July 2005, when Law publicly apologized to his fiancé, actress Sienna Miller, for having an affair with a nanny, and May 2006. Law and Miller separated in November 2005.
The designer and actress settled a suit against News Group Newspapers in January for 50,000 pounds. That case related to articles in the News of the World in 2003. She alleged that information hacked from her phone, which subsequently appeared in newspapers, contributed to the breakdown of her marriage to Jude Law, with whom she had three children.
The criminal charges list her as an alleged hacking victim between July 2005 and May 2006 when Law's engagement to Sienna Miller broke down.
The actress won 100,000 pounds in May 2011 from the News of the World. The newspaper also admitted in court that private information published about the actress in 2005 and 2006 should not have been printed.
The Manchester United soccer star filed a civil suit in May claiming damages for phone hacking.
Rooney is listed in the criminal case as an alleged hacking victim between Jan. 17 and Aug. 1, 2006. Also listed as a possible victim is Patricia Tierney, who filed an unsuccessful libel suit against The Sun newspaper for reporting in 2004 that she was a prostitute who worked at a Liverpool brothel allegedly frequented by Rooney. Her suit was thrown out when it was revealed that she had admitted to police that she was a sex worker.
The former manager of England's national soccer team is listed as an alleged victim along with personal assistant Faria Alam, with whom he had an affair.
Lord Frederick Windsor
The clue to the tabloid interest is in the last name — he's part of the reigning House of Windsor, the son of the queen's cousin, the Duke of Kent. The criminal charge relates to a period in 2006.
The former deputy prime minister is named as a victim along with Tracey Temple, a government secretary with whom he had an affair. The charges relate to a two-month period beginning in April 2006, when the Daily Mirror newspaper — not involved in the criminal case — revealed the liaison.
Prescott was identified as a possible hacking victim in 2006 when police seized property from private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who was convicted in an unrelated case and served a prison sentence. Prescott says police didn't tell him about it until 2011. Mulcaire faces new criminal charges announced Tuesday.
Prescott's former chief of staff, Joan Hammell, won 40,000 pounds to settle her civil suit on phone hacking. She is also identified as an alleged victim in the criminal case.
Blunkett held two Cabinet posts in Tony Blair's Labour governments. Between January 2004 and July 2006, the period covered by the criminal charge, he resigned as home secretary, was brought back to the Cabinet and then resigned as work and pensions secretary.
Last year, Blunkett reportedly received a confidential settlement of his claim that News of the World hacked his phone.