Emotional Prince Harry closes testimony in alleged phone-hacking case: ‘It is a lot’

APTOPIX Britain Prince Harry Legal Cases
Prince Harry leaves the High Court after giving evidence in London, Tuesday, June 6, 2023. Prince Harry has given evidence from the witness box and has sworn to tell the truth in testimony against a tabloid publisher he accuses of phone hacking and other unlawful snooping. He alleges that journalists at the Daily Mirror and its sister papers used unlawful techniques on an “industrial scale” to get scoops. Publisher Mirror Group Newspapers is contesting the claims. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali) Alberto Pezzali/AP

Emotional Prince Harry closes testimony in alleged phone-hacking case: ‘It is a lot’

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Prince Harry finished providing evidence at London’s High Court Wednesday after an extensive and emotional cross-examination in his phone-hacking case against a United Kingdom tabloid.

After nearly eight hours of questioning by defense attorneys for Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), the Duke of Sussex appeared to fight back tears when asked about his experience by his lawyer, David Sherborne.

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Sherborne asked how it felt to endure nearly eight hours of cross-examination as he seeks to prove that U.K. tabloid publisher the Mirror played a “destructive role” in his early life by allegedly engaging in unlawful phone-hacking techniques to get scoops on the British royal family.

Harry exhaled and said: “It’s a lot.”

The prince’s counsel and other claimants allege that senior editors and executives at MGN had knowledge about alleged approvals of phone hacking and instructing private investigators to garner information through deceptive practices.

MGN, now owned by Reach, previously admitted its titles were involved in separate phone-hacking instances and has settled more than 600 claims. However, defense attorney Andrew Green argues Harry has presented “no evidence” that he was ever a victim.

Wednesday’s hearing surrounded Harry’s answers to questions on specific stories he claims were obtained illegally, including several about his ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy between 2004 and 2010.

Harry argues that it “seems likely” that details of calls between the then-couple were obtained via phone records, while other claims attributed to a “royal insider” appeared “suspicious” given how hard the pair attempted to guard their sensitive information, according to his 50-page witness statement.

But Green maintained through many of Harry’s allegations that the information he was referring to were already matters of public domain.

Green argued that one 2006 story about Harry attending a strip club with other cadets from Sandhurst was already reported by the Daily Mail, noting that the publication’s source was a “tall statuesque blonde who bears more than a passing resemblance to Prince Harry’s girlfriend Chelsy Davy,” according to the BBC’s coverage of the seven-week trial.

“I can’t imagine she would have been pleased to hear that,” Green told the duke. In response, Harry said, “This process is as distressing for me as it is for her.”

As he wrapped up his cross-examination, Green asked whether it was the prince’s case that his phone had been consistently hacked on a daily basis for nearly 15 years.

“It could’ve been happening on a daily basis; I simply don’t know,” Harry said. When asked if there was any proof he had been hacked, Harry appeared to reference the culmination of 33 articles from the Mirror that he claims garnered information about him illicitly.

“That’s part of the reason why I’m here,” Harry said.

The Duke of Sussex is the first senior British royal since the 19th century to face questions in court. Prince Albert Edward, Queen Victoria’s eldest son who later became King Edward VII in 1901, appeared as a witness in a trial over a gambling scandal in 1891.

In a separate ongoing legal dispute across the pond in Washington, D.C., a conservative think tank is after government records pertaining to Harry’s United States visa.

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Citing his January memoir, Spare, the Heritage Foundation has pointed to Harry’s admitted drug use as it seeks records through the Freedom of Information Act to understand whether the Department of Homeland Security “complied with the law” when he was granted his U.S. visa.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, handed the group a small favor on Tuesday, giving DHS until June 13 to determine whether or not it will expedite or respond to a request for the records.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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