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Prince Harry to learn if Murdoch UK group lawsuit can go to trial

Prince Harry will learn on Thursday whether his lawsuit can go to trial against Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper group, which he accuses of phone-hacking and other unlawful activities.

Harry, the younger son of King Charles, is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN) at the High Court in London over multiple alleged unlawful acts he says were carried out on behalf of its tabloids, the Sun and the now-defunct News of the World, from the mid-1990s until 2016.
In April, NGN sought to have the lawsuit thrown out, arguing the case should have been brought sooner. Judge Timothy Fancourt will hand down his ruling later on Thursday on whether it can proceed to a trial, which is due to begin in January next year.

Harry, the Duke of Sussex, brought his case against NGN, which he has accused of ruining his relationships with friends and ex-girlfriends by its actions, alongside British actor Hugh Grant.
In 2012, the newspaper group issued an unreserved apology for widespread hacking carried out by journalists at the News of the World, which Murdoch had been forced to shut down amid a backlash, but it rejects allegations of any wrongdoing by staff at the Sun.
In May, Fancourt ruled that Grant’s claims that the Sun had used private investigators to tap his phone and burgle his house could proceed, but said his phone-hacking allegations had been made too late.
Harry’s lawyers said the prince had not made a claim sooner because there was a “secret agreement” struck between Buckingham Palace and senior figures at NGN to avoid embarrassment. News Group denies any such agreement, while the palace has not commented.
Court documents submitted by Harry’s legal team for the April hearings also said his elder brother Prince William, the heir to the throne, had settled a phone-hacking claim against NGN for a “huge sum”.
The NGN case is one of four that Harry, who now lives in California with his wife Meghan and their two children, is currently pursuing at the High Court against British publishers as part of what he has cast as a mission to hold tabloid executives to account for lying and covering up wrongdoing.
In June, he became the first senior British royal for more than 130 years to give evidence in court when he appeared as part of his lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers.
(Reporting by Michael Holden Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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