‘Nobody wants to be phone hacked,’ Harry tells court | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

Prince Harry says he would feel a sense of injustice if London’s High Court did not conclude he was a phone-hacking victim, as he completed more than eight hours giving evidence against a tabloid newspaper group.

Harry, King Charles’ younger son, spent a day-and-a-half in the witness box being grilled over allegations he had been unlawfully targeted by Mirror Group Newspapers’ (MGN) titles for 15 years from 1996, when he was a child.

Asked by his lawyer David Sherborne about the experience of appearing in court in front of the world’s media, a clearly-emotional Harry exhaled deeply and replied: “It’s a lot.”

The prince and 100 others are suing MGN, the publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, over allegations of phone-hacking and unlawful information-gathering between 1991 and 2011.

They claim senior editors and executives at MGN knew about and approved of the wrongdoing.

Harry had been selected as one of four test cases leading to him becoming the first senior royal to appear in a witness box for more than 130 years on Tuesday.

When Harry returned on Wednesday, he was again focused and softly spoken, but more combative during sometimes testy exchanges with Andrew Green, MGN’s lawyer.

“If the court were to find that you were never hacked by any MGN journalist, would you be relieved or would you be disappointed?” Green asked the prince.

Harry replied: “I believe phone-hacking was on an industrial scale across at least three of the papers at the time and that is beyond doubt.

“To have a decision against me and any other people that come behind me with their claims, given that Mirror Group have accepted hacking,… yes, I would feel some injustice,” he said.

In response to Green’s suggestion that Harry wanted to have been a victim, the prince replied: “Nobody wants to be phone hacked.”

MGN, now owned by Reach, has previously admitted its titles were involved in phone-hacking – the illegal interception of mobile voicemails – settling more than 600 claims, but Green has said there was no mobile phone data nor any shred of evidence to show Harry was a victim.

He argued that some of the personal information in stories published by the papers had come from, or was given with the consent of, senior Buckingham Palace aides or was simply based on details already made public.

In his written witness statement and in questioning, Harry has said the press had blood on its hands, destroyed his adolescence, ruined relationships with friends and girlfriends, sowed paranoia and mistrust and incited hatred against his US wife Meghan.

He also broke royal protocol to say he believed the government as well as the media in the United Kingdom had hit “rock bottom” while his anger at suggestions that his mother, Princess Diana, was a victim of phone-hacking before her death in 1997 was also clear.

Green quizzed him in detail over 33 newspaper articles whose details Harry says were obtained unlawfully and many of which related to his relationship with former girlfriend Chelsy Davy.

Harry said a tracking device had been found on her car and that he believed intimate details about their break-up and arguments about him visiting a strip club had been obtained by phone-hacking, saying they had not shared details of their private lives.

The lawyer described some of the prince’s hacking allegations as “total speculation,” a phrase repeated by many papers in their critical coverage of his first day’s appearance.

“For my whole life, the press has misled me and covered up the wrongdoing, so to be sitting here in court knowing that the defence has the evidence in front of them and Mr Green suggesting I’m speculating, I’m not entirely sure what to say about that,” Harry said.

His evidence is only part of the seven-week trial that is due to conclude in June, with a verdict expected later in the year.


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