Prince Harry wins phone-hacking case

5 months ago 111

Piers Morgan and other Mirror editors knew they were breaking the law by tapping the British royal’s phone, a judge has ruled

Britain’s Prince Harry has won a significant part of his phone-hacking case against Mirror Group Newspapers, after a judge ruled that the publisher obtained information unlawfully from his mobile phone. Harry was awarded £140,600 ($178,780) in damages. 

In a verdict handed down on Friday, High Court Judge Timothy Fancourt found that Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) engaged in “extensive” phone hacking between 2006 and 2011 to dig up information for articles on the scandal-prone royal. 

Using private investigators to unlawfully obtain the information was “an integral part” of MCN’s tactics, Fancourt declared. He added that there “can be no doubt” that former Daily Mirror editor and TV host Piers Morgan and other editors and lawyers at MCN knew that their investigators were breaking the law.

However, Harry’s allegation – that 33 articles about him in the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror, and Sunday People were compiled using hacked information – could only be “proved in part,” Fancourt noted, after judging 15 of these articles to be the product of illegal surveillance.

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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Yuliia “Taira” Paievska are seen at the “Friends @ Home Event” at the Station Airport during the Invictus Games 2023 in Duesseldorf, Germany, September 12, 2023 British royal holds hands with neo-Nazi veteran (PHOTO)

Harry testified before the court in June, becoming the first British royal to do so in more than 130 years. He told the court that the stories ended his relationship with former girlfriend Chelsea Davy, damaged his relationship with his brother, Prince William, and revealed details of his military service and drug use that would otherwise have remained private.

In a statement read out by his lawyer on Friday, Harry said that “today is a great day for truth, as well as accountability.”

“This case is not just about hacking,” the statement continued. “It is about a systemic practice of unlawful and appalling behavior, followed by cover-ups and destruction of evidence, the shocking scale of which can only be revealed through these proceedings.”

MCN insisted throughout the case that it used phone hacking to obtain material for some stories in the past, but never in the case of Harry. After Friday’s judgment, the publisher said it wants to “move forward from events that took place many years ago.”

“Where historical wrongdoing took place, we apologize unreservedly, have taken full responsibility and paid appropriate compensation,” the news group stated.

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Morgan told reporters that allegations of his involvement in the hacking scheme were false, and complained that he had not been given an opportunity to testify during the trial. 

“Prince Harry’s outrage at media intrusion into the private lives of the royal family is only matched by his own ruthless, greedy and hypocritical enthusiasm for doing it himself,” Morgan said, referring to Harry and wife Meghan Markle’s book deals, podcasts, and public allegations that racism is rife in Buckingham Palace.

Prince Harry’s “real mission, with his wife, is to destroy the British monarchy,” Morgan claimed. 

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