Britain’s High Court ruled Friday that the Duke of Sussex’s court case against the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper over alleged unlawful information gathering can continue.
Associated Newspapers Limited, which also publishes The Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline, had attempted to have the case dismissed without trial at a hearing in March, on the grounds that the legal challenges had been brought against them “far too late,” according to PA Media news agency. ANL has strongly denied the claims against it.
A group of high-profile claimants, which include Prince Harry, singer Elton John and Baroness Doreen Lawrence, has argued that “relevant facts” were “deliberately concealed” by ANL, and could not have been discovered until recently, a statement from the UK Courts and Tribunals Judiciary said.
In the High Court ruling, Justice Nicklin said ANL failed to deliver a “knockout blow” to any of the claims brought by the claimants.
He concluded that the group of well-known figures have a “real prospect” of demonstrating that ANL concealed the relevant facts that could have enabled them to bring their claims sooner.
Actress and model Elizabeth Hurley, actress Sadie Frost, former politician Simon Hughes and John’s partner David Furnish make up the rest of the plaintiffs behind the legal action.
A statement released Friday by law firm Hamlins on the group’s behalf said the seven claimants were “delighted” with the decision that “allows our claims over serious criminal activity (to proceed).”
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They allege that ANL has committed “deplorable and illegal activities,” including hiring private investigators to place listening devices in the claimants’ cars and homes, tapping phone calls and illegally accessing private medical information, the statement said.
“We intend to uncover the truth at trial and hold those responsible at Associated Newspapers fully accountable,” the statement continued.
ANL said in a statement Friday that it continues to firmly deny the allegations brought against the firm. The statement described the accusations as “lurid claims” and “simply preposterous.”
The suit is just one of several that the Duke of Sussex has brought against major UK newspaper publishers, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers and Mirror Group Newspapers.