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Prince Harry phone-hacking lawsuit: Four UK editors named




Four current British newspaper editors and a string of other senior press figures have been named in a privacy lawsuit brought by Prince Harry and other public figures against the publisher of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.

Harry, the younger son of King Charles, is one of seven claimants suing Associated Newspapers over allegations of voicemail interception – commonly known as phone-hacking – and other serious privacy breaches dating back 30 years.

He and the other claimants, including singer Elton John and actors Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost, have named around 70 current and former Associated Newspapers employees whom they accuse of past involvement in unlawful information gathering.

Victoria Newton and Tony Gallagher, now editors of the Rupert Murdoch titles the Sun and the Times respectively, are named, as are the editor of the Sunday Times, Ben Taylor, and the Mail on Sunday, David Dillon.

Restrictions on identifying them were lifted when Associated Newspapers filed its written defence at London's High Court, which was made public on Wednesday.

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The publisher denies carrying out unlawful information gathering, including phone hacking, tapping, bugging and burglary, or commissioning any illegal acts.

In its defence, it called the allegations "an affront to ... hard-working professional journalists" whose reputations and integrity had been "wrongly traduced".

"The stories concerned, many of which were published 20 or more years ago, and not subject to any complaint at the time, were the product of responsible journalism based on legitimate sources," a spokesperson for Associated said.

News UK, a subsidiary of Murdoch's News Corp, declined to comment.

Phone hacking cases concern several media groups

Newton, the Daily Mail's showbiz editor in the early 2000s, is also named in separate, long-running litigation against News Group Newspapers (NGN), the publisher of the Sun and the now-defunct News of the World, which was shut down in 2011.

The phone-hacking Scandal emerged more than a decade ago, prompting a public inquiry into the ethics of the press and several criminal trials.

Harry has brought several lawsuits against British media organisations as part of his "mission" to purge executives and editors whom he accuses of spreading lies and intruding into people's lives.

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The prince blames British media for the death of his mother Princess Diana in a 1997 car crash, and has accused UK newspapers of hostile and racist attacks on his American wife Meghan, which were cited as a factor in their decision to quit royal duties and move to California in March 2020.

In February, Harry accepted substantial damages to settle his case against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) – publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People - having become the first senior British royal to give evidence in 130 years.

He could return to the witness box next year if his lawsuit against NGN goes to trial.