Daily Mail owner applies to strike out "hacking" claims brought by Prince Harry and Sir Elton John


Today marks the first day of a four-day hearing in which Mr Justice Nicklin will decide if claims by Prince Harry, Sir Elton John, Baroness Doreen Lawrence and other high profile individuals, against Associated Newspapers, the owner of the Daily Mail, should continue.

The claimants allege that the Daily Mail committed gross breaches of their privacy by undertaking unlawful acts to obtain private information about them. Specific allegations include that the Daily Mail hired private investigators to place listening devices inside their cars and homes, to listen in on private phone calls, and to pay police officials for inside, sensitive information.

The Daily Mail reports that it will have three applications heard at the hearing this week:

  1. Limitation – It is argued that the 6 year limitation period for privacy claims should be applied.
  2. Confidential information – The claimants seek to rely on accounting ledgers that were provided by the Daily Mail in confidence as part of the Leveson Inquiry. The Daily Mail says that those documents are being used in breach of a restriction order and confidentiality undertakings.
  3. Journalist anonymity – The Daily Mail will also ask the court to order that the names of any journalists embroiled in the claims are not named publicly unless and until the claims go to trial in order to protect their reputations.
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