Prince Harry to tabloid newspaper's lawyer: 'Nobody wants to be phone hacked'

Streaming HUBJune 7, 2023

LONDON (AP) – Prince Harry entered a London court on a mission to prove that the publisher of the Daily Mirror tabloid hacked his phone and illegally spied on his life.

He left the witness box on Wednesday, showing he was highly skeptical of how Mirror Group newspapers obtained information for stories about him, but had no phone records or other evidence to support his hacking claim. without presenting evidence.

“I believe phone hacking was on an industrial scale in at least three newspapers at the time,” the Duke of Sussex said on the second day of his testimony at London’s High Court. “It is beyond any doubt.”

Phone hacking is central to his case against the Mirror Group and two related lawsuits against other British tabloid publishers, claiming his privacy has been violated by using email eavesdropping and other illegal methods to report on the smallest details of his life. attacked, causing him much emotional turmoil.

Harry is the first senior member of the royal family to testify in court in more than 130 years, and the high stakes in taking his cases to trial is unprecedented in modern times. In addition to his willingness to hold newspapers accountable for their “disastrous” role in his life and what he said was a cover-up of the hacking scandal, the pursuit signals the seriousness of his larger mission to reform the press.

He testified, “Having found out about this level of cover-up I want to see my MGN claim come to an end, so that people can really understand what happened.”

During cross-examination, Mirror Group lawyer Andrew Green pressed the prince to explain which elements of the article came from the hacking and how he could prove it without providing call data.

Harry insisted that parts of some of the stories were questionable and said that Green should have consulted the reporters who wrote the articles about what he did. He said the journalists used burner phones and destroyed records.

Green, who has said that Harry’s phone was not hacked, asked the witness whether he would be relieved or upset if the judge reached the same conclusion.

Harry replied, “To hold a judgment against me… given that the Mirror Group has admitted hacking, yes, it would feel like an injustice.”

“So you want to hack the phone?” Green said.

Harry replied, “No one wants to hack a phone.”

Harry’s suspicion of the press runs deep. He questioned not only whether the unnamed sources were genuine, but also whether the people quoted by name had actually said the things they attributed.

More than once, he said that attributing something to someone in print “doesn’t mean it’s true” and added false information to stories “to keep people like himself off the scent”. Went.

Green asked if he really thought journalists would be foolish enough to risk being caught phone hacking after a News of the World reporter and a private investigator were jailed for such activity in 2007.

“I believe the risk is worth the reward for them,” replied Harry.

Green has apologized for one instance The Mirror Group has admitted to hiring a private investigator to dig up dirt on Harry, although this was not among the claims he made. The Mirror Group denies or accepts his other allegations.

Harry, the 38-year-old younger son of King Charles III, is the first senior British royal since the ancestor, the future King Edward VII, to appear as a witness at trial for a gambling scandal in 1891.

Harry has said the royal family avoids legal wrangles to avoid being put in the witness box.

His case spans from 1996 to 2011 – a period when phone hacking was later widely discovered by tabloid journalists. The scandal led to the revelation of more intrusive means such as phone tapping, home bugging, and the use of deception to obtain flight information and medical records.

Harry’s fury at the UK press runs through in his memoir, “Spare”. He blames the paparazzi for the car crash that killed his mother, and says intrusion by the UK press, including allegedly racist articles, has prompted him and his wife, Meghan, to flee the US in 2020 and leave the royal family. Leave life behind

Mirror Group has paid more than £100 million ($125 million) to settle hundreds of illegal information-gathering claims, and apologized to phone hacking victims in 2015.

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