Prince Harry Set to Testify Against Mirror Group Newspapers in Historic Court Appearance.

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Prince Harry, the younger son of King Charles III, is poised to make history as the first senior British royal to provide court testimony in over a century. He will be testifying against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) in a case that involves allegations of illegal activities, including phone hacking. Since stepping back from his frontline royal duties in early 2020 and relocating to California with his wife Meghan Markle, Harry has initiated several legal actions against British newspaper groups.

During the hearing at London’s High Court, Harry’s lawyer, David Sherborne, asserted that the prince had been a target of unlawful information-gathering from a young age, with his phone being hacked on multiple occasions. Sherborne emphasized that no aspect of Harry’s life was spared from press intrusion. In response, MGN’s barrister, Andrew Green, countered that there was no evidence to support the claim that Harry’s phone had been tapped.

Although it was expected that Prince Harry would attend the court session, he did not participate due to his recent trip to the UK to celebrate his daughter’s second birthday. The case against MGN revolves around allegations that the tabloids owned by the publisher, including The Mirror and The Sunday People, engaged in unlawful information-gathering to obtain stories about Harry and other claimants. MGN issued an apology at the beginning of the trial and admitted to some instances of unlawful information-gathering, but denied the allegations of voicemail tapping and argued that certain claims were time-barred.

Prince Harry has had a contentious relationship with the media, holding them partially responsible for the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997. In recent television interviews and his memoir, “Spare,” released in January, Harry criticized other members of the royal family, accusing them of collusion with the press. In court documents revealed in April, Harry alleged the existence of a “secret agreement” between the royal family and a UK publisher, preventing him from pursuing legal action to protect the royal brand.

The prince has vowed to advocate for change in Britain’s tabloid media, and the MGN trial is just one of several ongoing legal battles he has initiated against the press. Another prominent case involves joint legal action against Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mail, for alleged breaches of privacy. Prince Harry’s testimony on Tuesday will mark a historic moment as a senior member of the royal family providing evidence in court, reminiscent of Edward VII, who appeared in a slander trial before ascending to the throne in 1890. It demonstrates Harry’s commitment to seeking justice and influencing reforms within the media industry.

SOURCE: Ref – London AFP.

Images : new york times

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