Prince Harry has won the lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers. As the Supreme Court in London ruled, King Charles’ son was a victim of phone hacking and other illegal activities of British newspaper journalists. As a result, he was awarded over £140,000 in compensation.
Reuters calls the court’s decision a great victory for the prince. “This is a great day for truth, but also for accountability,” Harry said in a statement read by his lawyer, David Sherborne. He also called on the police to launch an investigation against the media group.
Representatives of the defendant publisher also commented on the judgment of the London court. “Today’s court decision gives the company the necessary clarity to move forward from the events that occurred years ago. Where historic wrongs have occurred, we apologize unreservedly. We have accepted full responsibility and paid appropriate compensation,” Reuters quotes an MGN spokesman.
Prince Harry versus the tabloids. What is the trial about?
Prince Harry and a hundred other people, including: actors, musicians and sports stars sued MGN, the publisher of the tabloids “Daily Mirror”, “Sunday Mirror” and “Sunday People”, accusing them of large-scale illegal activities in the years 1991-2011. They blamed the media group’s journalists and private detectives for hacking into phones on an “industrial scale” and obtaining private data. They also argued that editors and management must have known about and approved such behavior. MGN disputed the claims and denied that the staff was aware of the irregularities.
The prince and three other people were selected in the trial as test cases for the court to examine. King Charles’s younger son claimed he was the target of illegal activities for 15 years starting in 1996, with more than 140 newspaper reports purporting to be the result of phone hacking or other illegal behavior. The trial examined 33 articles. “I found that 15 of the 33 articles examined were the result of hacking into his or his associates’ cell phones or the result of other illegal information gathering,” Judge Timothy Fancourt said on Friday.
By the court’s decision, the prince is to receive £140,600 (over PLN 700,000) in compensation for 15 articles that were considered to be the result of illegal information collection. The court also awarded PLN 31.65 thousand. pounds to the actor Michael Le Vell, known from the TV series “Coronation Street”, and in the case of two other people, actress Nikki Sanderson and Fiona Wightman, it ruled that their claims could not be recognized due to the statute of limitations. Another hearing will be held in January, at which decisions regarding further steps will be made.
Last Monday the court found in another trialthat Prince Harry is to pay the publisher of the Mail on Sunday newspaper over £48,000 in legal costs in an ongoing defamation case.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/TOLGA AKMEN