Britain’s Prince Harry — the Duke of Sussex, who has stepped down from his royal duties and left the UK with his wife Meghan Markle — made a surprise appearance at London’s High Court on Monday to attend a hearing in which he sued the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper for wiretapping and privacy breaches.
Harry and six other renowned names, including Sir Elton John and Baroness Doreen Lawrence, have brought a lawsuit against the Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) for misuse of private information. The action claims the individuals have been “victims of abhorrent criminal activity.”
The media giant is accused of commissioning individuals to “surreptitiously listen into and record people’s live, private telephone calls” and the impersonation of individuals to obtain medical information from hospitals and clinics.
The claimants also accuse the ANL of accessing bank accounts, credit histories and financial transactions through illicit means and manipulation.
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“These individuals have been the subject of public interest during the course of their careers and personal lives. They are united in their desire to live in a World where the press operates freely, yet responsibly. A press that represents truth, is sourced in fact and can be trusted to operate ethically and in the interests of the British public,” a statement by the claimants read.
Hamlins law firm, which launched the legal action on behalf of the claimants, alleged the unlawful acts included hiring private investigators to secretly place listening devices inside cars and homes and the recording of private phone conversations.
The publisher hit back at the allegations, describing them as “preposterous smears” and a “pre-planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail titles into the phone-hacking scandal.”
None of the claimants are expected to make an oral testimony at the hearing, which will continue until Thursday.
Originally published at tribune.com.pk