Prince Harry, youngest son of King Charles III and the late Princess Diana, will be able to sue News Group Newspapers (NGN), owner of “The Sun” and the now-defunct “News of The World”, for alleged illegal activity in obtaining information about him.
This was determined this Thursday by Judge Timothy Fancourt, after in a hearing in April the journalistic group asked him to dismiss the lawsuit – which also included accusations of wiretapping – due to the fact that Harry had taken more than six mandatory years to present it.
In today’s ruling, the High Court magistrate nonetheless ruled out that specific allegations of illegal wiretapping could proceed to trial, concluding that, in that case, The duke could not substantiate why he waited until 2018 to sue, when they supposedly started in the mid-1990s.
In this sense, Fancourt considered that the argument put forward by the duke in the preliminary hearings that there was a secret pact between the heads of Rupert Murdoch and the Royal House lacks “credibility” to postpone any possible lawsuit until those presented by are previously resolved. dozens of celebrities and ordinary people.
The judge has decided that the part of the lawsuit that alleges that the newspapers resorted to illegal activities can be judged “to extract confidential information from third parties”with the possible “hiring of private investigators to carry out these and other illegal acts”.
Fancourt believes that, at this point, the duke has a chance to prove in court that, due to lack of sufficient information, he could not have processed his complaint before he did.
An NGN spokesperson has declared the ruling “a significant victory” for the company, as the court dismissed the accusations relating to wiretapping of mobile voice mailboxes.
“This substantially narrows the scope of the claim,” it said in a statement.
The scandal of the massive listening to celebrities, politicians and ordinary people forced Murdoch to close the “News of The World” in 2011, after the arrest and prosecution of several executives.
The trial against NGN, which joins others Harry is underway against other newspapers over the same matter, is due to start in London’s High Court next year.