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Prince Harry Ready to Settle Phone Hacking Allegations | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Prince Harry is prepared to settle the remainder of his lawsuit against a major tabloid publisher after partially winning his case in 2023, according to new filings from his legal team.

The prince’s lawyers appeared Monday in a London court in a consequentials hearing on his unlawful-information-gathering lawsuit, which was brought along with other high-profile public figures against Rupert Murdoch’s Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) in 2019.

Last November 15, a judge ruled that Harry had been able to prove he was the victim of unlawful information gathering by MGN journalists for stories that appeared in newspapers such as the Daily Mirror.

The prince’s legal team argued that 148 articles published at MGN publications between 1996 and 2011 had been sourced using illegal means, and 33 were selected to go to trial. Of these, the judge ruled that 15 were likely to have been sourced illegally and awarded the prince £140,600 ($179,792) in damages.

On Monday, the prince’s legal team said in filings seen by Newsweek that the royal is “certainly prepared” to negotiate an agreement with the publisher over the remaining 115 articles that did not go before the judge, but these would need to be put forward in their own hearings.

“In the Duke of Sussex’s claim, only 33 of the 148 articles in his claim have been tried. There therefore remain a further 115 articles to be tried,” the lawyers said.

They continued: “Although the Duke is certainly prepared to attempt to resolve the remainder of his claim through agreement, it is necessary to list of the trial of the remainder of his claim as soon as is practicable, in order that his claim, which was issued almost four-and-a-half years ago in September 2019, may be fully determined if agreement is not reached.”

Prince Harry is open to reaching an agreement with tabloid publisher Mirror Group Newspapers in connection with his unlawful-information-gathering lawsuit, new legal filings show.
Prince Harry is open to reaching an agreement with tabloid publisher Mirror Group Newspapers in connection with his unlawful-information-gathering lawsuit, new legal filings show.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Harry’s lawyers have argued that they need seven to 10 days to conduct the hearings and that they should take place as soon as possible. The judge will consider the points raised in the new filings in the context of the wider consequentials hearing.

Newsweek contacted representatives of the Duke of Sussex via email for comment.

Harry’s partial win last year was seen as a major achievement for the prince, who has said that holding the media to account for their illegal actions is his “life’s mission.”

In his judgment handed down on November 15, Justice Timothy Fancourt ruled: “I found the duke’s case of Voicemail Interception and Unlawful Information Gathering was proved in part. Fifteen out of the 33 articles were the product of phone hacking of his mobile phone or the phone of his associates or Unlawful Information Gathering.

“I have concluded that his phone was probably only hacked to a modest extent and this was controlled by certain people,” Fancourt said.

Harry praised the ruling as a “great day for truth as well as accountability.”

“My commitment to seeing this case through is based on my belief in our need and collective right to a free and honest press, and one which is properly accountable when necessary,” he said in a statement read outside the court by his lawyer, David Sherborne.

He went on: “That is what we need in Britain and across the globe. Anything else is poisoning the well for a profession we all depend on. The acts listed in this judgement are prime examples of what happens when the power of the press is abused.

“I respectfully call upon the Authorities—the financial regulator, the stock market who were deliberately deceived by Mirror Group, and indeed the Metropolitan Police and prosecuting authorities—to do their duty for the British public and investigate bringing charges against the company and those who have broken the law,” Harry said.

The statement also said the ruling was “vindicating and affirming.”

“I’ve been told that slaying dragons will get you burned. But in light of today’s victory and the importance of doing what is needed for a free and honest press—it’s a worthwhile price to pay. The mission continues,” Harry said.

In response, the Metropolitan Police issued a statement saying that it will “carefully consider the civil judgment handed down today at the High Court.” The statement added that there is “no ongoing investigation.”

Harry is pursuing unlawful-information-gathering lawsuits against two other tabloid publishers in Britain. He recently dropped a tabloid libel lawsuit after his request for a summary judgment was refused.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek‘s royal reporter, based in London. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

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