Prince Harry's lawyers seek to drag Rupert Murdoch into court case with new amendment

Prince Harry and Rupert Murdoch

Prince Harry has dragged Rupert Murdoch into a court case

Dorothy Reddin

By Dorothy Reddin

Published: 20/03/2024

- 15:21

Updated: 20/03/2024

- 16:00

The Duke of Sussex and more than 40 others are suing News Group Newspapers

  • Prince Harry's lawyers are seeing to drag Rupert Murdoch into their court case
  • The three-day hearing began today
  • Have your say: Do you think Prince Harry's lawyers have made the right decision? Just click the comment button above NOW

Prince Harry's lawyers are seeking to drag Rupert Murdoch into a court case with a new amendment.

Lawyers for the Duke of Sussex and other claimants are seeking to amend their lawsuit against Murdoch's British mass-circulation papers to include the magnate personally in allegations of a cover-up of wrongdoing.

Prince Harry and more than 40 others are suing News Group Newspapers (NGN) over accusations of unlawful invasions of privacy from the mid-1990s until 2016 by The Sun and the News of the World.

The case is due to go to a trial in January, which could last eight weeks.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry has multiple court cases against the British press


In a three-day hearing starting today, lawyers for the claimants asked Judge Timothy Fancourt for permission to change the details of their generic case against NGN to include further evidence of a cover-up by senior executives at the newspaper group.

Among the amendments they are seeking to include are references to Murdoch, 93, about senior figures' knowledge and concealment of unlawful activities, and evidence relating to Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of News UK, News Corp's British newspaper arm.

NGN's lawyers said the attempt to change the particulars of the case was unnecessary.

They referenced introducing 200 new journalists, executives and private investigators as an example, along with serious allegations.

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch was forced to shut down News of the World in 2012


Anthony Hudson, NGN's lawyer, told the court: "It has become increasingly clear that at least some members of the claimant group appear to be using this document as a vehicle for wider campaigning interests against the tabloid press."

Hudson suggested that the proposed amendments were designed by some of the claimants, including actor Hugh Grant, to turn the litigation into "some type of substitute for a public inquiry".

In 2012, NGN apologised for widespread phone-hacking by journalists at the News of the World, which Murdoch had been forced to shut down amid a backlash.

\u200bPrince Harry

Prince Harry arriving at court in London for various cases against the British press


The group has always rejected allegations of any wrongdoing by staff at The Sun.

Brooks, a former Sun editor, was found not guilty of hacking and other crimes following an eight-month trial in 2014.

David Sherborne, the lawyer for Harry and the other claimants, told the court both Murdoch and Brooks knew NGN's original statement that just "one rogue reporter" was involved in unlawful information-gathering was false.

Murdoch knew about the allegations and that the company's denial was untrue, Sherborne claimed, saying it would have to have been approved by News Corp's board.


Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch continues to own The Sun under News Group Newspapers


In written submissions, the claimants' lawyers said they wanted to include evidence from a former IT engineer that Brooks's computer hard drive was hidden away and possibly deliberately destroyed in 2011 to hide her knowledge of wrongdoing.

NGN's lawyers said the amended details were an attempt "to re-investigate, reopen, re-litigate or second guess" previous court decisions or findings from a 2012 public inquiry.

Their written submission said: "As observed above in relation to (Brooks), these new allegations against those previously named in the (case) are also frequently serious and wide-ranging, requiring NGN to enter into the re-running of criminal trials or an inquiry into an inquiry."

You may like