Prince Harry returned to England in June to attend court.
Judge Fancourt ruled that MGN’s 15 stories about Prince Harry used illegal information-gathering methods, including the hacking of voicemail messages and the use of private investigators.
In total, 33 articles were submitted for consideration, but the judge ruled that “phone hacking was not the only journalistic tool at the time, and his claims regarding the other 18 articles were not carefully analyzed.”
The Duke of Sussex is suing the British newspaper group that publishes The Daily Mirror, The Sunday Mirror and the Sunday People, along with three other claims alleging that its journalists illegally intercepted his voicemails and used other illegal means over a period of about 15 years.
Prince Harry described the victory against MGN as “a great day for truth and accountability” in a statement read by his lawyer David Sherborne outside the court in London.
“The court has ruled that illegal and criminal activity was carried out on a regular and widespread basis for more than a decade at all three of the Mirror Group’s newspaper titles (The Mirror, The Sunday Mirror and The People),” the 39-year-old King said.
Prince Harry urged the Financial Conduct Authority, Metropolitan Police and prosecuting authorities to “do their duty to the British public and investigate allegations made against the company and those who have broken the law”.
He called for a “free and honest press” in Great Britain and worldwide, saying “anything else poisons the well of an industry on which we all depend”.
He added: “Today’s judgment is vindicating and affirming. I was told that killing dragons will burn you. But in light of today’s success, and the importance of doing what a free and honest press needs – it’s a price worth paying. Work continues.”
The prince’s legal team said he was unable to present his statement in person due to the “short notice” given by the court.
In a summary of his ruling, the judge said the publisher began using phone hacking in 1996 and from 2006 to 2011 at MGN “which was still prevalent in those years” but Prince’s phone was “only partially hacked.”
An MGN spokesperson said the publisher welcomed the ruling, saying it “gives the business the clarity it needs to move on from what happened years ago,” PA Media reported.
“Where historical wrongs have been done, we apologize unconditionally and have taken
Full responsibility and due compensation was given,” added the spokesperson.
When he appeared in court again in June, the prince became the first senior member of the British royal family to testify on the witness stand in more than 130 years.
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MGN’s lawyer, Andrew Green, subjected the royal family to forensic and detailed questioning, questioning him about the specifics of his claims and occasionally prodding him to recall parts of his written statement or to seek evidence.
In June, Prince Harry told a courtroom of the woes the press caused him during his youth, saying articles published by MGN played a “destructive role” in his youth.
It is one of several cases brought by the Duke of Sussex against major UK newspaper publishers, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers (NGN) and Daily Mail Publishers Associated Newspapers Ltd. NGN publishes The Sun and was used to produce News of the World, which closed on its own in 2011. Phone Hacking Scam.
This is a developing story and will be updated.