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Prince Harry loses bid to name Murdoch in phone-hacking trial | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

As much as Prince Harry claims to hate the media, he never manages to stay out of the spotlight for long. Now it transpires that the renegade royal has been reprimanded by a High Court judge for trying to bag ‘trophy targets’ — and has been told that he cannot take phone-hacking allegations against Rupert Murdoch to trial.

The pampered Prince’s team claimed at a court hearing in March that Murdoch, owner of News Group Newspapers (NGN), was aware of unlawful activity taking place at his media outlets as far back as 2004. The allegations made against Murdoch suggest the media mogul ‘turned a blind eye’ to reports while he oversaw a ‘culture of impunity’. Lawyers for the monarch of Montecito approached the High Court for permission to update their case against the Sun publishers — but today Mr Justice Fancourt ruled that the additional claims added ‘nothing material’ to the case. In a further blow for Harry, the judge also ruled that the ex-royal would be unable to introduce new claims of phone hacking.

And Fancourt didn’t stop there either. He told the Prince’s team that:

I also consider that there is a desire on the part of those running the litigation on the claimants’ side to shoot at ‘trophy’ targets, whether those are political issues or high-profile individuals… This cannot become an end in itself: it only matters to the court so far as it is material and proportionate to the resolution of the individual causes of action. 

NGN denies the allegations raised by Harry’s lawyers, saying today that the court decision has ‘thoroughly vindicated’ the organisation’s position. Meanwhile, the Prince was informed by Fancourt that he could, ‘in principle’, change some of the details of his case to name ‘certain further journalists and private investigators’ before the trial is determined next January — but received a slap on the wrist for not complying with a July order that prevented him from bringing claims against the Sun and News of the World. Oo er.

The High Court judge went on to add that the Prince’s lawyers ‘cannot resist adding more and more detail to the claim, as more and more missing pieces of the jigsaw are found’ — but, he reminded the royal rebel, ‘the trial is not an inquiry’. That’s them told…


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