Prince Harry to take on Mirror publisher at High Court in June




The Duke of Sussex will return to the High Court in June as he takes Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) to court over allegations of phone hacking.

Prince Harry is expected to give evidence in person at the trial, which will pitch him directly against former Mirror editor Piers Morgan, who has become one of the Sussexes’ most vocal critics.

He is one of a number of high-profile figures bringing damages claims against the newspaper group over alleged unlawful information gathering at its titles.

The trial of four “representative” cases is due to begin on May 9 – the first working day after the Coronation – and to last for six to seven weeks.

A draft timetable suggests the Duke will enter the witness box in early or mid June.

Evidence in his claim is expected to take three days, including opening statements, his time in the witness box, when he will be cross-examined, and MGN’s witnesses.

All evidence to be given in person

The Duke has not yet publicly confirmed whether he will return to the UK for his father’s Coronation.

At a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, Julian Santos, for the claimants, confirmed that all the witnesses on their side would give evidence in person.

“The claimants are not applying for any of their witnesses to give evidence via video link,” he told Mr Justice Fancourt.

The case will mark the Duke’s second visit to the High Court within three months after he made a surprise appearance at a preliminary hearing in his separate claim against Associated Newspapers Limited – the publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday – last week.

Harry, Sir Elton John, Baroness Lawrence and others are suing Associated Newspapers for allegedly stealing private details.

The publisher has applied to have the claims dismissed without a trial on two grounds but after a four-day hearing the judge said his decision would be handed down at a later date.

MGN argues claims brought too late

The four “representative” claimants against MGN were selected last month from a wider pool of high profile figures to go to trial.

The others are former Coronation Street actress Nikki Sanderson, comedian Paul Whitehouse’s ex-wife Fiona Wightman and actor Michael Turner.

MGN is contesting the claims, arguing that some have been brought too late.

MGN – publisher of titles including The Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People – has previously settled a number of claims against it in relation to unlawful information gathering, as has News Group Newspapers (NGN) – publisher of the now-defunct News Of The World and The Sun – in a separate ongoing legal action.

Mr Morgan, who was editor of the Daily Mirror from 1996 until 2004, has become known for his public outbursts against the Sussexes.

He was forced to resign as a host of Good Morning Britain after he refused to publicly apologise for telling viewers in March 2021 that he “didn’t believe a word” of what the Duchess of Sussex had told US chat show host Oprah Winfrey in a televised interview.

He is widely expected to be dragged into the case, although he has always strongly denied any knowledge of phone hacking.

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