Prince Harry no-show for first day of tabloid phone hacking trial | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

Judge Timothy Fancourt said he was “a little surprised” Prince Harry was a no-show on the first day of his court face-off against Mirror Group Newspapers, the British tabloid company he has sued for its alleged phone hacking.

Fancourt said he had ordered Harry to be in the London court on Monday in case there was time for his testimony, as the second phase of the trial began.

But David Sherborne, Harry’s attorney, said that Harry missed the first day of the trial because he was flying in from Los Angeles after celebrating daughter Lilbet’s 2nd birthday on Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

So opening statements continued without Harry, with Sherborne criticizing the means by which journalists for the Daily Mirror tabloid got scoop on the Duke of Sussex for 33 articles dating back to 1996.

Those articles covered Harry’s dating activity, his experimentation with marijuana and cocaine, and even injuries he sustained at school, Sherbourne said.

In court documents, Harry said he initially thought friends were leaking information to the press — suspicions that caused him “huge bouts of depression and paranoia.” He later realized private investigators were tracking him and eavesdropping on his voicemails.

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“Nothing was sacrosanct or out of bounds and there was no protection from these unlawful information-gathering methods,” Sherbourne said in court on Monday.

The Mirror Group, for its part, previously claimed it reported on Harry legally, through sources, statements, and documents.

Andrew Green, an attorney for the company, said on Monday that he was “deeply troubled” by Harry absence in court and that he’d need a day and a half for his cross-examination.

Barrister David Sherborne, representing Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex reacts as he arrives past members of the media at the Royal Courts of Justice, Britain's High Court, in central London on June 5, 2023.

The Mirror Group has admitted to using a private investigator for its reporting on Harry on only one occasion, but Sherbourne said that claim is implausible.

“The ends justify the means for the defendant,” the attorney said in court on Monday.

Harry did appear in a London court in March, after he and other celebrities sued Associated Newspapers Ltd., the publisher of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, for its alleged invasion of their privacy. And the British royal has also sued News Group Newspapers, the publisher of The Sun.

According to the AP, Fancourt and another judge are deciding whether those two cases will proceed to trial.


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