Prince Harry, UK's publisher to temporarily pause libel case, try to reach a settlement
Prince Harry agreed with Associated Newspapers, one of the giant media publishers of Britain, to pause his libel claim temporarily so that an attempt can be made to settle the case, heard the High Court of London on Tuesday.
The publisher was sued by the Duke of Sussex in February over the publication of an article in the Mail on Sunday newspaper. In the article, it was alleged that the prince, with an intention to reinstate his police protection, had hidden the details of his legal battle with the interior ministry of Britain.
Prince Harry, along with his wife Meghan, had given up his royal duties two years ago. The prince claimed that the Mail had published an "unremittingly negative" article regarding his legal case against the ministry.
In July, the High Court had ruled out that it was defamatory. However, Associated Newspapers, argued that the article carried "an expression of opinion" of public statements made by Harry on his legal battle over the issue of police protection.
On Tuesday, the case was presented again in the court for a preliminary hearing, speaking on which the prince's lawyer Jane Phillips said that the case will be placed on hold till mid-January as agreed by the parties and an attempt will be made to reach a settlement "if that is indeed possible".
Meanwhile, Prince Harry was asked by Associated Newspapers to provide more information about his meeting which took place in January 2020 at the royal Sandringham estate, when he had claimed to have made an offer to either contribute or pay for police protection.
Judge Barbara Fontaine gave the ruling that the lawyers of Harry should provide necessary "clarification" about the offer the prince claims to have made, which the judge further added would “assist the parties ... in the attempts about (a) settlement, which I hope are successful”.
The court hearing was held on Tuesday just days before the much-talked-about Netflix documentary based on Harry and Meghan is set to be released.