Prince Harry

Prince Harry Accused of Deliberately Destroying Evidence in Phone Hacking Lawsuit

Prince Harry is facing serious allegations from News Group Newspapers (NGN), the publishers of The Sun, who claim that the Duke of Sussex “deliberately destroyed” potential evidence related to his High Court phone hacking lawsuit against the major UK publisher.

This accusation includes the destruction of emails, text messages, and WhatsApp messages sent and received by Harry, along with access to two encrypted hard drives.

NGN is also seeking records of communication between Harry and the King’s private secretary, Sir Clive Alderton, as well as Sir Michael Stevens, the privy purse treasurer to the King.

Additionally, they are requesting correspondence between Harry and JR Moehringer, the ghostwriter of his memoir, Spare.

At a High Court hearing on Thursday, NGN’s attorney, Anthony Hudson, described Harry’s actions as “shocking” and “extraordinary” obfuscation.

Hudson claimed that Harry had deliberately destroyed text messages with his ghostwriter, which are crucial to the case.

He emphasized the importance of retrieving these messages, stating, “There ought to be proper evidence about this.

Those messages are clearly within his control, even if they have been deleted. That’s why we say the search for texts and WhatsApps is important.”

Mr. Justice Fancourt interrupted Hudson to note, “Well we don’t know what has happened. It’s not at all clear.” Hudson responded, “It is of great concern. It needs to be clarified in very short order.”

Harry’s attorney, David Sherborne, countered by accusing NGN of engaging in a “classic fishing expedition” and claimed that NGN’s delayed requests for documents undermined the assertion that Harry had not properly carried out the disclosure exercise.

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Sherborne defended Harry’s conduct, stating in court papers, “NGN’s tactical and sluggish approach to disclosure wholly undermines the deliberately sensational assertion that the claimant [Harry] has not properly carried out the disclosure exercise.

This is untrue. In fact, the claimant has already made clear that he has conducted extensive searches, going above and beyond his obligations.”

The hearing is part of Harry’s ongoing battle against alleged phone hacking and the use of unlawful measures by private investigators hired by NGN to gather information on him.

This litigation is part of a broader scandal that emerged from the phone hacking activities at NGN’s News of the World, which was closed in 2011 following the scandal.

The case has implicated numerous celebrities, including actor Hugh Grant, who allege that between 1994 and 2016, News Group journalists violated their privacy through illegal activities such as intercepting voicemails, tapping phones, bugging cars, and using deception to access confidential information.

The judge recently ruled that Harry could not expand his lawsuit to include allegations that Rupert Murdoch, then executive of the company that included NGN, was part of an effort to conceal