The Hugh Court in London on Friday ruled that Prince Harry and Elton John and five other high-profile British figures can have their lawsuit against the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper alleging widespread unlawful behaviour heard at trial.
Publisher Associated Newspapers (ANL) had sought at hearings in March to have the case thrown out, saying the claims that were brought in October 2022 were outside a six-year time limit for legal action.
Harry along with Elton John, and the other five claimants accuse ANL, which publishes the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, of phone-hacking and other serious privacy breaches dating back 30 years. ANL has always denied involvement in unlawful practices.
“I consider that each claimant has a real prospect of demonstrating concealment by Associated that was not – and could not with reasonable diligence have been – discovered by the relevant claimant before October 2016,” Judge Matthew Nicklin said in his ruling.
However, Nicklin ruled the seven claimants could not rely on ledgers recording payments by ANL to private investigators, which were disclosed to a public inquiry into press standards that began in 2011, without first getting the permission of British government ministers.
A subsequent hearing will be held on Nov. 21 to consider the outcome of the ruling.
“We intend to uncover the truth at trial and hold those responsible at Associated Newspapers fully accountable,” law firm Hamlins said in a statement on behalf of Harry, John, the singer’s husband David Furnish, actors Liz Hurley and Sadie Frost, campaigner Doreen Lawrence, and former lawmaker Simon Hughes.