Britain’s Prince Harry on Thursday returned to the high court in London, as lawyers wrapped up arguments at the end of four days of hearings about a privacy claim.
Adjourning the legal proceedings, High Court judge Matthew Nicklin said he would issue a ruling at a later date.
The prince and a number of other high-profile figures including pop superstar Elton John have made allegations against the publisher of the Daily Mail, Associated Newspapers (ANL), and want the media firm to face a full trial.
They accuse ANL of hiring private investigators to place listening devices inside cars, and access and record private phone conversations.
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But the media company went to court on Monday to have the legal action stopped, arguing that there should be no trial.
Others taking part in the legal action against ANL include actress Elizabeth Hurley, John’s husband David Furnish and campaigner Doreen Lawrence — the mother of Stephen Lawrence, whose racially motivated murder in 1993 led to the uncovering of serious UK police failings.
Lawyers for the group claim ANL commissioned 19 different private investigators to carry out a series of unlawful acts from 1993 to 2011 and beyond, which in some instances provided material for articles.
ANL told the court, however, the claims were “stale” and “based on no credible evidence”.
The claims against ANL have echoes of Britain’s phone-hacking scandal which first blew up in 2006 and saw journalists at the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World hack into the voicemails of royals, celebrities and murder victims.
Harry, the younger son of Britain’s King Charles III, has long had a difficult relationship with the media.
The prince announced in early 2020 he was quitting royal duties and has since launched a barrage of criticism of the British royal family.
Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on the hearing.