Connect with us


Prince Harry wins latest High Court trial against UK tabloid amid settlement pressure



Prince Harry has won the latest High Court trial against the publisher of The Sun, News Group Newspapers (NGN over unlawful information gathering allegations.

The Sun publisher fails to delay full High Court trial sought by Prince Harry. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo(REUTERS)

NGN failed to postpone a potential full High Court trial.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

Prince Harry was under mounting pressure to settle

The Duke of Sussex alleges that he was targeted by journalists and private investigators working for NGN. This case is among 42 existing cases against the publisher, with a full trial scheduled for January next year.

NGN sought a narrower preliminary trial to determine if the cases were brought within the legal time limit.

But Justice Fancourt dismissed this request, citing concerns about “increasing costs overall and delaying” up to two years.

“That is unsatisfactory,” he exclaimed.

NGN’s lawyers argued for a trial to determine the timing issue, which could lead to dismissing some claims as “time-barred”.

The legal team representing Harry and others opposed this approach, claiming it would be “highly disruptive and prejudicial” and could cause “substantial delay”.

ALSO READ| Prince Harry may drop legal battle against UK tabloid, high cost a reason

The judge noted that NGN’s request came “late”, and a narrower initial trial could result in “wasted” legal costs and further delays. He deemed it preferable to proceed with the planned January 2025 trial, where the timing of claims will still be addressed.

During Wednesday’s hearing, it was revealed that the Duke could face pressure to settle his claim due to the risks of high legal costs. This situation is “subject to the same issues” actress Sienna Miller and actress Hugh Grant dealt with, who settled their cases ultimately.

‘The Sun does not accept liability or make any admissions to the allegations’: NGN spokesperson

NGN has already settled over 1,600 legal claims related to phone hacking litigation.

“In 2011, an unreserved apology was made by NGN to victims of voicemail interception by the News Of The World. Since then, NGN has been paying financial damages to those with proper claims,” an NGN spokesperson said.

“As we reach the tail end of litigation, NGN is drawing a line under disputed matters, some of which date back more than 20 years ago. In some cases, it has made commercial sense for both parties to come to a settlement agreement before trial to bring a resolution to the matter,” he went on and added, “There are a number of disputed claims still going through the civil courts, some of which seek to involve The Sun. The Sun does not accept liability or make any admissions to the allegations.”

ALSO READ| Meghan Markle ‘terrified’ Archie and Lilibet might ‘blame’ her post-Harry’s UK exit because…

The spokesperson also highlighted a recent settlement with Hugh Grant: “A judge recently ruled that parts of Mr Grant’s claim were out of time and we have reached agreement to settle the remainder of the case. This has been done without admission of liability. It is in both parties’ financial interests not to progress to a costly trial.”

Continue Reading