Britain’s Prince Harry seeks $560,00 damages in phone-hacking lawsuit against Mirror newspapers

Prince Harry is seeking damages amounting to around 440,000 pounds ($560,000) from Britain's Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), according to court documents released on Friday, marking the end of the royal's phone-hacking lawsuit trial.

The prince, along with approximately 100 others, has filed a lawsuit against MGN, the publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, and Sunday People, at 's High Court.

The allegations date back to a period between 1991 and 2011 and involve claims of phone-hacking and unlawful information gathering.

The claimants argue that senior editors and executives at MGN were aware of and sanctioned the illegal activities. However, MGN, which is owned by Reach (RCH.L), denies the allegations, stating that there is no evidence to support the claims.

Prince Harry alleges that he was targeted by MGN for 15 years starting from 1996 and that over 140 stories published by MGN's papers resulted from unlawful information gathering. However, the trial, which concluded on Friday, focused on 33 of these articles.

According to the court documents, Prince Harry is seeking up to 320,000 pounds in damages for the 33 articles if the court rules in his favor on all counts.

Additionally, an additional document released by the claimants' lawyers states that the prince is seeking another 120,000 pounds for 61 episodes of alleged unlawful information gathering involving both himself and his late mother, Princess Diana.

The court may also consider whether Prince Harry is entitled to aggravated damages, which are awarded to compensate for the additional distress caused by the defendant's actions.

MGN argues that none of the 33 articles in question resulted from unlawful information gathering.

The publisher claims there is no evidence of phone hacking and asserts that some of the personal information about Prince Harry had been obtained with the consent of senior Buckingham Palace aides.

According to the documents released on Friday, MGN argues that even if Prince Harry wins on all 33 articles, he should receive no more than 37,000 pounds in damages.

During the trial, MGN admitted that a private investigator had been engaged to unlawfully gather evidence about Prince Harry in 2004, although the published article was not included in the trial.

MGN suggests that Prince Harry should receive a maximum of 500 pounds in damages for that particular incident, while Prince Harry's lawyers argue that an award of 2,500 pounds is justified.

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, made headlines as the first senior royal to give evidence in court in 130 years. During his appearance, he expressed his belief that phone hacking occurred on a large scale at MGN's publications.

MGN's lawyer, Andrew Green, argued in court filings that Prince Harry's legal action was motivated by his “undoubtedly fair resentment about his treatment by British and international media” and formed part of his “campaign to ‘reform' the British press.”

The trial has now concluded, and the judge, Timothy Fancourt, stated that his ruling “will take some time.” The outcome of the trial and the subsequent ruling will have significant implications for the ongoing debate surrounding media ethics and privacy rights.

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