LONDON – Prince Harry’s legal battle against the Daily Mail enters a crucial phase in 2024 as tensions escalate. Last year, the Duke of Sussex made headlines as the first royal to testify in court as a claimant, winning his phone hacking lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers and surviving an attempt to dismiss his case against Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Mail. However, his legal team faces significant challenges this year due to a deep-rooted rivalry between the parties involved.
Although the case is still in its early stages, the publisher has already made efforts to hinder the proceedings. They have yet to file their defense to the allegations, making it unclear how strong their counter-attack will be. Prince Harry, along with other celebrities and public figures, accuses the newspaper of phone hacking, wiretapping, and even burglary in an attempt to obtain private information.
The battle will likely focus on the testimony of Gavin Burrows, a private investigator who previously confessed to engaging in unlawful activities, including phone hacking, wiretapping, and bugging, on behalf of Associated Newspapers. However, the Mail‘s lawyer claims that Burrows has since denied being commissioned or instructed by the newspaper to carry out any illegal acts. The conflicting statements will be subject to further examination in court.
Furthermore, Prince Harry and his co-claimants were hoping to introduce documents submitted by the newspaper group to the Leveson Inquiry in 2012. However, a judge ruled that the material is currently inadmissible, leaving Harry’s legal team to explore alternative methods to present the evidence or potentially drop some claims.
For Prince Harry, defeat in this lawsuit would not only impact his finances but also provide the Daily Mail with an opportunity to claim victory. While he emerged victorious in his lawsuit against the Mirror Group, the judge cautioned him about the assumptions he made during the trial. Some of the information he contested had already been published by other news outlets, suggesting that it may not have resulted from phone hacking.
Whether Prince Harry wins or loses this case, the outcome will have significant implications. A victory would damage the reputation of the Daily Mail, which has vehemently denied engaging in phone hacking. On the other hand, a defeat for Prince Harry could dent his finances and give the newspaper cause to celebrate. The trial will ultimately determine the credibility of the allegations and the future course of action.
In conclusion, Prince Harry’s lawsuit against the Daily Mail is reaching a critical juncture, with both parties gearing up for a fierce legal battle. The outcome will have far-reaching consequences, impacting not only the reputation of the newspaper but also Prince Harry’s personal and financial standing.