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Judge Rules Against Prince Harry in Early Stage of Libel Case

LONDON (AP) – Prince Harry on Friday lost his defamation lawsuit against the publisher of the Daily Mail tabloid newspaper over an article that said the prince sought to maintain publicly funded protection in Britain. Royal worker.

A London judge said the Duke of Sussex had been unable to overcome Associated Newspapers' defense that its articles reflected honest opinions. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday to discuss the impact of the ruling.

In his decision, Judge Matthew Nicklin said: “It is not a fantasy that the defendant will prevail at trial.” He scheduled a hearing in Superior Court on Tuesday to discuss the impact of the ruling.

The ruling comes after another judge heard three days of arguments (mostly behind closed doors) over whether the government unfairly deprived Prince Harry of confidential information after he and his family immigrated to the United States in 2020. It was announced the next day.

Prince Harry, 39, the second son of Charles III, is challenging the government's decision to provide him with security on a case-by-case basis when he visits the UK. Prince Harry said his hostility towards him and his wife on social media and the news media's continued stalking threatened the couple's safety.

The Mail on Sunday and Mail Online published articles on this issue in February 2022 with the headline: “How Prince Harry tried to keep his legal battle with the government over police bodyguards a secret…and just minutes after the story broke his public relations machine attempted'' open to conflict This is to give direction. ”

Prince Harry claimed the article was “fundamentally inaccurate” and suggested that the newspaper had lied in his first public statement about his challenge to the government, calling Prince Harry He claimed that he had defamed him.

The Associated Press claimed the article expressed an “honest opinion” and did not seriously damage Prince Harry's reputation.

Mr Nicklin previously ruled that the article was defamatory, but did not consider whether it was accurate or in the public interest.

Meanwhile, the government defended its decision to withdraw full protection for Prince Harry on the basis that he had stepped down from his role as the family's senior worker. He said he was treated fairly and occasionally provided security during his visits.

Earlier this year, another judge rejected Harry's request to personally pay back London police to protect him when he was in town. Government lawyers had argued that police officers should not be used as “private bodyguards for the wealthy.”

The Mail dispute is one of four ongoing lawsuits against British tabloid publishers in Prince Harry's ongoing battle with the press.

His other three lawsuits allege that reporters at the Mail, the Daily Mirror and the Sun used illegal methods including fraud, phone hacking and the employment of private investigators to try to dig up dirt on him. claims.

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