Judge Demands Prince Harry Clarify Missing Texts

Prince Harry's Legal Battle Takes a Significant Turn in Court.

by Nouman Rasool
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Judge Demands Prince Harry Clarify Missing Texts
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This comes after a High Court judge ordered Prince Harry to explain how messages related to his legal suit against the publisher of The Sun were deleted. This directive is made in light of the revelations of unlawful information gathering by News Group Newspapers, the owners of The Sun and the now closed News of the World.

Prince Harry and at least 40 other claimants are suing the company for allegedly hiring journalists and private investigators to obtain information in an intrusive manner. The trial is expected to begin in January 2025, and NGN will defend itself against the allegations.

The core issue of the matter seen through the lens of Justice Timothy Fancourt is the deletion of a significant number of documents and messages both confidential and between Prince Harry and the ghostwriter of his book, JR Moehringer.

Accusations of Obfuscation

The lawyers of NGN also alleged that the Duke of Sussex was guilty of “obfuscation” in the case but his counsel, David Sherborne, in a written response said that the duke had never talked about using text or WhatsApp to gather unlawful information.

He even went further to explain that any messages sent on Signal had been erased “clean. ” Judge Fancourt has directed that Prince Harry’s electronic records and correspondences of and from 2005 to early 2023 be searched for any possible communication that may be useful to the case.

Furthermore, the duke has to provide a witness statement regarding the destruction of certain messages with Moehringer. The financial issue is that the court has ruled that News Group should be paid two-thirds of its legal costs for this specific hearing, however, Prince Harry’s legal team objects to the £132,000 fees stating that it is unreasonable for just one day in court.

This legal battle is not an isolated event; NGN had earlier on sought to have Prince Harry provide any information he might have concerning the matter prior to December 2013, which if proven to have shown prior knowledge of the claim, could lead to the case being thrown out.

However, in April the court refused NGN’s request for a preliminary trial to explore whether the duke had filed his claims outside the time bar. In most cases, the claims have to be filed within six years; however, exceptions are being made owing to the allegations that NGN hid phone-hacking evidence from the plaintiffs preventing them from filing for the claims earlier.

Despite settling more than 1,300 legal cases and awarding substantial damages to victims of phone hacking, NGN still faces many allegations, including those from Prince Harry, who is still a vocal critic of some British media practices after reaching a settlement with Mirror Group Newspapers over phone-hacking claims earlier this year.

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