London (CNN) Britain Prince Harry He arrived at the High Court in London for a hearing in his claim against Associated Newspapers Limited over allegations of illegal information gathering.
Last year, the Duke of Sussex joined a group of high-profile figures, including singer Elton John, in suing the publisher of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Mail Online.
The suit accuses Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) of engaging in various means of criminal activity to obtain information on high-profile personalities over the years.
Elizabeth Hurley, Sadie Frost, David Furnish and Doreen Lawrence make up the rest of the plaintiffs behind the legal action.
They alleged that they were “victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy,” according to a statement from their representatives at the time.
the The group accused ANL – Hiring private investigators to carry out illegal activities, such as planting listening devices in homes and cars, and recording private calls. It also alleges that the publisher would pay corrupt police officers to obtain inside information, engage in impersonation and deception to obtain medical records, and would hack into bank accounts and financial transactions by “illegal means and manipulation”.
When the suit was filed in October, the publisher dismissed the allegations as “preposterous distortions” and called the suit a “pre-planned and coordinated attempt to drag mail addresses into the phone-hacking scandal,” according to UK news agency PA Media. .
An ANL spokesperson said at the time that the allegations were “unfounded and deeply defamatory allegations, not based on credible evidence,” the PA reported.
Monday was the start of a four-day preliminary hearing at London’s Royal Courts of Justice, as ANL tries to have the case thrown out.
Furnish’s husband, Elton John, also appeared as the court proceedings began.
The Palestinian News Agency reported that Prince Harry was seen sitting “towards the back of the courtroom and occasionally taking notes in a small black notebook.”
The news agency said David Sherborne, an attorney for the claimants, outlined the allegations against ANL, including unlawful entry onto private property, illegal interception of voicemails, listening in on live calls and obtaining medical records.
Each of the Claimants alleges that they have been subjected in various ways to various unlawful acts committed by the Defendant or those acting on the instructions of their newspapers, the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday. These acts range from 1993 to 2011 and even continued beyond 2018,” he wrote in the filings filed with the court.
ANL’s attorneys argued in their written submissions that the lawsuit was filed too late and should be dismissed without a trial, according to the PA.
One of the ANL’s attorneys, Adrien Beltrami, said in the memos that each claimant needs to prove that he did not know, or could not have known earlier, that he might have been able to sue the ANL for misuse of his private information. .
“The plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate that they have a real prospect of meeting their burdens at trial, and the court should not hesitate to dismiss these longstanding claims at an early stage, thus avoiding what could be a waste of time, costs and damages,” Beltrami was quoted as saying by the PA.
The case against ANL is one of several that Prince Harry has brought in recent years.
Meanwhile, he filed a lawsuit against Owners of the British tabloids The Sun and Daily Mirror In 2019 regarding an alleged historic phone hack. The case against the Daily Mirror’s publisher is due to go to trial in May.
The 38-year-old monarch’s surprise appearance in London on Monday is believed to be his first trip to the UK since he and his wife Meghan attended the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II in September.
In the months that followed, the Sussexes released a Netflix documentary series and the Duke’s memoir, which provided more information about his fractured relationship with the rest of the royal family.
A royal source told CNN that Harry is not expected to see his brother, the Prince of Wales. The source added that Prince William is not in Windsor because it is a school holiday.
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