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Vindication for Prince Harry with MGN settlement but case was never about money

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Published Time: 09.02.2024 - 22:40:49 Modified Time: 09.02.2024 - 22:40:49

The Duke of Sussex and the publisher of the Daily Mirror settled the remainder of his hacking claim, but in a statement, the Prince said "Everything we said was happening at Mirror Group was in fact happening, and indeed far worse as the court ruled

The Duke of Sussex and the publisher of the Daily Mirror settled the remainder of his hacking claim, but in a statement, the Prince said: "Everything we said was happening at Mirror Group was in fact happening, and indeed far worse as the court ruled."

By Sarah HajibagheriSky News reporter

Friday 9 February 2024 18:42, UK

Most civil cases never go to trial. You need deep pockets and an even deeper resolve for a court battle. Prince Harry had both. 

The Duke of Sussex was determined to use his fame (and funds) to expose illegal activity at Mirror Group Newspaperseven if it involved being cross-examined as a witness himself.

While much focus has been on the conversations the prince has been having with his family this week, he's also been in important talks with his lawyers and the publishers of the Mirror.

In December after a high profile trial, a judge concluded there was evidence of "widespread and habitual" phone hacking at Mirror group newspapers.

Today, Justice Fancourt described the "shockingly dishonest way MGN acted for years". A victory for the prince. Vindication even.

Prince Harry's case in court focused on 33 tabloid articles, personal in nature, which Harry's lawyers argued were the product of illegal information gathering.

The judge agreed15 likely sourced through illegal means. The prince had a further 115 articles, not yet tried which he claims were sourced through the same illegal means.

But with other legal battlesand newspapers, to take on, a settlement has been made for a "substantial additional sum", in addition to the £140,600 the prince was awarded in December.

Harry's legal costs will also be paid by the newspaper group and they will be significant. An interim payment towards costs was £400,000. But this case was never about money for the Duke.

The judge today highlighted that this legal battle had been "extremely confrontational". The statement made by Harry's lawyers outside the High Court showed it was also personal for the prince.

Once again, he used it to single out Piers Morgan, former editor of the Mirror. David Sherbone read out his client's words: "We call again for the authorities to uphold the rule of law and to prove that no one is above it.

"That includes Mr Morgan, who as editor, knew perfectly well what was going on, as the Judge held. Even his own employer realised it simply could not call him as a witness of truth.

"His contempt for the Court's ruling and his continued attacks ever since demonstrate why it was so important to obtain a clear and detailed judgement."

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