Several public figures, including Prince Harry and Sir Elton John, are suing the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper for alleged phone tapping and other alleged breaches of privacy.
Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include actresses Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost, Elton John’s husband and filmmaker David Furnish, and Doreen Lawrence, the mother of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence in a racist attack in 1993.
In a statement released on Thursday, October 6, law firm Hamlins acting for the group said the six had “become aware of compelling and highly distressing evidence that they have been the victims of abhorrent criminal and gross breaches of privacy”.
So what are the allegations that have been thrown against the Daily Mail’s publisher, Associated Newspapers Ltd? Here is everything you need to know.
What are the allegations against Daily Mail?
According to Hamlins, unlawful acts alleged to have taken place include:
- The hiring of private investigators to secretly place listening devices inside people’s cars and homes.
- The commissioning of individuals to surreptitiously listen into and record people’s live, private telephone calls whilst they were taking place.
- The payment of police officials, with corrupt links to private investigators, for inside, sensitive information.
- The impersonation of individuals to obtain medical information from private hospitals, clinics, and treatment centres by deception.
- The accessing of bank accounts, credit histories and financial transactions through illicit means and manipulation.
‘Tip of the iceberg’
The firm said: “It is apparent to these individuals that the alleged crimes listed above represent the tip of the iceberg – and that many other innocent people remain unknowing victims of similar terrible and reprehensible covert acts.
“They have now therefore banded together to uncover the truth, and to hold the journalists responsible fully accountable, many of whom still hold senior positions of authority and power today.
“These individuals have been the subject of public interest during the course of their careers and personal lives.
“They are united in their desire to live in a world where the press operates freely, yet responsibly. A press that represents truth, is sourced in fact and can be trusted to operate ethically and in the interests of the British public.”