Prince Harry attends High Court in Daily Mail privacy case

30/03/2023 | The Guardian

The Duke of Sussex was in attendance on Monday, 27 March, as legal proceedings against Associated Newspapers Limited began in the High Court in London. The privacy lawsuit brought by a group of seven high-profile claimants, including Prince Harry and Sir Elton John, in October 2022 alleges that the publisher of the Daily Mail had hired private investigators to place bugs in their cars and homes, recorded phone calls, accessed bank accounts and paid police for information. The case is due to last four days. 

The following are a selection of articles reporting on the case as it developed:

Monday: 270323

  • The Guardian - Daily Mail parent company invokes Human Rights Act to stop naming of journalists. Lawyers working for Associated Newspapers successfully argue there is no justification for naming 73 journalists and executives.
  • The Guardian - Prince Harry shows he is not bluffing in his vendetta against the Daily Mail owner. Court appearance in privacy claim should not be surprising, particularly given the prince’s loathing for Associated Newspapers.

Tuesday: 280323

  • Reuters - Prince Harry back in court for day two, says tabloid's journalists are criminals. In a statement released to the media, he said he wanted to hold Associated accountable for "everyone's sake... The British public deserve to know the full extent of this cover up and I feel it is my duty to expose it."
  • The Guardian - Prince Harry: royals ‘agreed not to sue’ newspapers over phone hacking. Harry says he was conditioned to accept his family’s view that they should not dare take on the UK newspaper industry.

Wednesday: 290323

  • The Guardian - Witness in Prince Harry’s case against Daily Mail owner unreliable, say lawyers. Associated Newspapers lawyers argue key witness’s ‘retraction’ reason to dismiss phone hacking allegations.
  • Sky News - Prince Harry privacy claim 'rejected in its entirety', Daily Mail publisher tells High Court. Following an explosive couple of days that saw Prince Harry make an unexpected appearance at the High Court, the third day of this preliminary hearing was quieter. Publishers for the Daily Mail argued for the case to be dismissed - but the claimants' lawyers have pushed back.

Thursday: 300323

  • Reuters - Prince Harry back in UK court for battle with Daily Mail publisher.
  • The Guardian - Daily Mail owner ‘gaslighting’ victims, Prince Harry’s lawyer tells the court. Paper campaigned on behalf of Stephen Lawrence while using a private investigator to target his mother, says David Sherborne.
  • BBC News - Prince Harry accuses Associated Newspapers of criminality. Prince Harry says he is determined to hold the publisher of the Mail newspapers to account as he says he is "deeply concerned" by their "unchecked power, influence and criminality".
  • BBC News - Prince Harry privacy case: Lawyer refers to 'compelling new evidence'. Private investigators have provided new and "compelling" evidence of illegal work for the Mail newspapers, the Duke of Sussex's barrister told a court.
  • The Guardian - Prince Harry has every right to take on the Daily Mail. But is phone hacking yesterday’s problem? It was a scourge in the 90s and 00s. Now, though, what we need is new privacy laws to regulate the excesses of social media.

In December, a legal intervention by Associated Newspapers delayed the publication of allegations for public scrutiny.

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