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Prince Harry wins damages over phone hack

Dec. 15th – Several years ago, Prince Harry fell prey to phone hacking, as determined by a London High Court judge. The editors of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People were found to have known of the spyware installation, but seemingly stayed silent on the matter.

Key facts

  • U.K. tabloids intentionally hacked Prince Harry’s phone
  • Prince Harry calls for journalists to be held accountable
  • Newspaper editors knew of the unlawful behavior and covered it up

What happened

Prince Harry has become the first senior British royal to give testimony in court in over 130 years. He has been awarded roughly $180,700 in damages.

“Today is a great day for truth as well as accountability,” said Harry in a statement read by his lawyer David Sherbone.

“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.”

The prince urged authorities to take appropriate action against those identified as having broken the law.

Journalists and criminals

The world has not forgotten Princess Diana’s story. After relinquishing royal responsibilities in 2020 and moving to California with his wife, Harry has dedicated himself to purging the British press of those who he condemns as “criminals masquerading as journalists,” especially senior executives and editors.

According to the court ruling, among the editors who remained aware of the unlawful behavior was high-profile broadcaster Piers Morgan, the Daily Mirror editor from 1996-2004, and now a leading critic of Harry and his wife’s personal lives.

Harry is among approximately 100 claimants – most of whom are celebrities – who have sued Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) over allegations of phone hacking and unauthorized information gathering, spanning from 1991 to 2011.

Stolen information

Prince Harry alleged that roughly 140 published articles contained information that had been obtained unlawfully. In a partial review of the materials, Judge Timothy Fancourt concluded that more than a dozen were the result of unlawful acts.

The judge stated that the editors of MGN had hidden illicit conduct not just from fellow directors, but also from parliament, a public inquiry into press standards from 2011 to 2012, shareholders, the public and the High Court, during a prior trial that took place in 2015.

An MGN spokesperson stated, “We welcome today’s judgement that gives the business the necessary clarity to move forward from events that took place many years ago.”

“Where historical wrongdoing took place, we apologise unreservedly, have taken full responsibility and paid appropriate compensation.”

For more on this story, visit Reuters.com.

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