Prince Harry was the victim of “large-scale” phone hacking, according to UK High Court rules

Hannah McKay – Reuters

Prince Harry returned to the UK in June to appear in court.


the Duke of Sussex He was awarded £140,600 ($179,000) on Friday after the UK Supreme Court ruled that he had been the subject of “large-scale” phone hacking by Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) From 2006 to 2011.

Judge Fancourt ruled that 15 stories published by MGN about Prince Harry used illegal methods to gather information such as hacking voicemail messages and using private investigators.

In all, 33 articles were submitted for consideration, but the judge ruled that “phone hacking was not the only journalistic tool of the time, and his allegations in relation to the other 18 articles did not stand up to careful analysis.”

The Duke of Sussex has sued the British newspaper group, which publishes The Daily Mirror, The Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, along with three other plaintiffs, alleging that its journalists illegally intercepted voicemails and used other illicit means over a period of almost 15 years.

Prince Harry described his victory over MGN as “a great day for truth, as well as accountability”, in a statement read by his lawyer David Sherborne outside court in London.

“The court ruled that illegal and criminal activities had been carried out at all three of the Mirror Group’s newspapers (The Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People) on a habitual and widespread basis for more than a decade.” said the old royal.

Prince Harry urged the financial regulator, the Metropolitan Police and prosecutors to “do their duty to the British public and investigate charges against the company and those who broke the law.”

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He also called for a “free and fair press” in Great Britain and the world, saying that “anything else poisons the well of the profession on which we all depend.”

He added: “Today’s verdict is proof and proof. I’ve been told that slaying dragons will get you burned. But in light of today’s victory and the importance of doing what’s needed for a free and fair press, this is a worthwhile price to pay. The mission continues.”

The prince’s legal team said he was unable to give his statement in person due to the “short notice” provided by the court.

In summing up his ruling, the judge said the publisher began using phone hacking in 1996, and that the practice “was still widespread during those years” at MGN from 2006 to 2011, but that the prince’s phone “was only hacked to a modest extent.” . ”

An MGN spokesperson said the publisher welcomed the ruling “which gives the company the clarity needed to move forward after the events of many years ago,” according to PA Media.

He added: “Where historical wrongdoing has occurred, we apologize unreservedly
The spokesman added: “Full responsibility and payment of appropriate compensation.”

The prince became the first senior member of the British royal family to testify in court in more than 130 years, when he appeared in court last June.

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MGN’s lawyer, Andrew Green, put King under forensic and detailed questioning, quizzing him on the details of his claims and sometimes leaving him scrambling to remember parts of his written statement or find evidence.

In June, Prince Harry told the courtroom of the distress the press caused him during his youth, saying articles published by MGN played a “destructive role” in his adolescence.

The lawsuit is just one of several brought by the Duke of Sussex against major UK newspaper publishers, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers (NGN) and Daily Mail publishers Associated Newspapers Limited. NGN publishes The Sun newspaper and used to produce News of the World, which it closed in 2011 on its own Phone hacking scandal.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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