London judge rejects Prince Harry’s bid to add allegations against Rupert Murdoch in tabloid lawsuit

A London judge says Prince Harry cannot expand his privacy lawsuit against the publisher of The Sun tabloid over allegations that Rupert Murdoch and some other executives were part of an effort to hide and destroy illegal information.

LONDON – LONDON (AP) – Prince Harry cannot expand his privacy lawsuit against the publisher of The Sun tabloid to include allegations that Rupert Murdoch and some other executives were part of an effort to hide and destroy evidence of illegal intelligence gathering, a London judge has ruled. drove on Tuesday.

Judge Timothy Fancourt’s ruling at the High Court was a mixed ruling for the Duke of Sussex in one of a number of privacy suits he has brought in ongoing battles against British tabloids.

Fancourt authorized Prince to file allegations that his phone was tapped, adding claims against other journalists and private investigators who he and other plaintiffs say used illegal means to keep them.

Fencourt said allegations that Murdoch “turned a blind eye” to wrongdoing added nothing material to the claims made against News Group Newspapers or NGN. The judge said the claims already included “trusted lieutenants” naming Murdoch’s youngest son, James Murdoch, and Rebecca Brooks, who was an editor at the defunct News of the World and The Sun.

The judge said some of Harry’s attempts to impeach additional executives were to further a political agenda.

“On the part of the plaintiffs, litigation is motivated by a desire to shoot ‘trophy’ targets, whether political issues or high-profile personalities,” Fancourt wrote. “While there is no doubt that the plaintiffs’ team will try to put the man at the top, doing so adds nothing to the conclusion that Ms. Brooks and James Murdoch or other senior officials knew and were involved.” It has been proven to be so.”

Brooks is chief executive of News UK, News Corp. A division of Media Holdings, which controls The Sun and The Times among other publications. James Murdoch left News Corp. in 2020.

Rupert Murdoch, 93, was executive chairman of News Corp. and a director of its subsidiary News International, now News UK, which was the parent of NGN when News of the World folded. Murdoch stepped down last fall as leader of both Fox News’ parent company and its News Corp.

Both sides claimed victory in the ruling, which precedes a trial scheduled for early next year.

Fencourt said it was a split victory with the defense gaining the upper hand on contested issues. It ordered Harry and the other plaintiffs to pay one-third of NGN’s costs incurred in reviewing the proposed changes.

The News Group said it welcomed the decision and said it would stand by its position that the new “broad-spectrum” and irrelevant allegations be excluded from the case.

The applicants said they were pleased the judge allowed many of the amendments that were “vehemently opposed by NGN”.

The company issued an unreserved apology in 2011 to the victims of the News of the World’s voicemail wiretapping, which closed its doors after the phone hacking scandal. NGN said it had settled 1,300 complaints about its newspapers, although The Sun never accepted responsibility.

A three-day hearing in March included claims against NGN by others, including actor Hugh Grant, who accused The Sun of wiretapping him, breaking into his car and breaking into his home.

Grant has since said he reluctantly agreed to a “huge amount” to settle his lawsuit.

Grant said he had to settle because of a court policy that could have caused him a huge legal bill even if he prevailed at trial. A civil court rule meant to avoid clogging up the courts would have required Grant to pay legal fees to both sides if he won in court, but was awarded something lower than the settlement offer.

Lawyer David Sherborne suggested that Harry might settle for the same reason.

Harry has a similar case against the owner of the Daily Mail.

It won its first court case last year when Fencourt found that phone hacking was “widespread and routine” at Mirror Group Newspapers. In addition to the court order, he settled the remaining charges, which included his legal fees.

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