Prince Harry has launched a blistering attack against the publisher of the Daily Mail as part of his allegations they breached his privacy on numerous occasions.
In a witness statement submitted as part of his claim against Associated News Limited (ANL) — which he is bringing alongside six other high-profile individuals — Harry says he is acting in the public's interest and because he "loves his country".
The statement says: "There is obviously a personal element to bringing this claim but it is not just about me. There is also a social element as, if the most influential newspaper company can successfully evade justice, then in my opinion the whole country is doomed."
It adds, "The evidence I have seen shows that Associated’s journalists are criminals with journalistic powers which should concern every single one of us. The British public deserve to know the full extent of this cover up and I feel it is my duty to expose it."
The statement also says, "If the Defendant, the owner of various national newspapers, including The Daily Mail which, by its own definition, is the most influential and popular newspaper in the UK, can evade justice without there being a trial of my claims then what does that say about the industry as a whole and the consequences for our great country."
ANL has been accused by Harry and six other claimants — Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Elton John and his husband David Furnish, Sadie Frost, Liz Hurley and Sir Simon Hughes — of hiring private investigators to intercept voicemails; listen into and record landline calls; collect private medical and financial information through deceptive means; and commission the burglaries of private property to unlawfully gather information on the claimants.
The publisher has denied all the claims set against them, calling the allegations "unsubstantiated and highly defamatory claims, based on no credible evidence."
In a four-day hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, ANL is trying to get a summary judgment — which will mean that the case does not go to trial.
ANL is arguing that the "stale" claims have been brought past the six-year statute of limitations and that some of the material is bound by a restriction order made by the Leveson Inquiry in 2012, so can't be used as evidence.
In the particulars of his claim, Harry takes a further swipe at the Daily Mail and ANL, who he claims pose as a "beacon of truth and integrity" while, the claim alleges, committing unlawful acts.
The statement reads: "The Claimant [Harry] is further concerned and upset by the fact that despite its stated values of representing the interests of British people, characterising itself as a beacon of truth and integrity, in fact it was committing these insidious and illegal Acts, and even lying and continuing to cover up the same so that they would not be publicly exposed."
On Monday, a temporary reporting restriction order was granted to ANL to protect the anonymity of any journalists who have worked for them previously or still do that stand accused of wrongdoing.
Tuesday's session heard David Sherborne for the claimants present arguments about why the material contested by ANL should be allowed to be used as evidence in the case.