Prince Harry and his allies will plead with a minister to be allowed to use leaked documents in their hacking case against Associated Newspapers.
The confidential ledgers were ruled inadmissible by a judge, and the claimants, who include Doreen Lawrence and Elton John, were told by the High Court it would be an ‘abuse of process’ if they were kept in the case.
Yesterday Harry’s barrister David Sherborne told the court they were ‘on the point of’ writing to a government minister asking to be given permission to use the documents, which were leaked from the Leveson Inquiry 11 years ago.
During his inquiry, retired senior judge Sir Brian Leveson made a legal order to keep the confidential documents secure.
Last week at the High Court, Mr Justice Nicklin ruled the Leveson order had been breached.
Prince Harry (pictured) and his allies will plead with a minister to be allowed to use leaked documents in their hacking case against Associated Newspapers
The confidential ledgers were ruled inadmissible by a judge, and the claimants, who include Doreen Lawrence (pictured) and Elton John, were told by the High Court it would be an ‘abuse of process’ if they were kept in the case
In a setback to Harry and the six others who are suing Associated Newspapers, which publishes The Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail, he said allowing their use without permission would ‘bring the administration of justice into disrepute’.
Harry, Baroness Lawrence, Sir Elton, his husband David Furnish, Elizabeth Hurley, actress Sadie Frost and former Lib Dem MP Sir Simon Hughes are alleging unlawful acts including voicemail hacking, house breaking, car bugging and phone tapping.
All the claims are strenuously denied by the publisher, which has denounced the accusations as ‘preposterous and false’. The case has not yet come to trial.
Harry is in Canada but Baroness Lawrence was in the courtroom at yesterday’s preliminary hearing.
The documents the claimants want to use in their case were described as ‘illegitimately obtained information’.
Adrian Beltrami KC, for the publisher, said in written arguments that ‘much, if not all’ of the cases brought by the duke and others ‘may be unsustainable when shorn of information illegitimately drawn from the ledgers’.
If they want to use the ‘Leveson Ledgers’ – financial records supplied in strictest confidence by Associated to help Sir Brian with his 2011/2012 statutory inquiry into Press standards – Harry and his fellow claimants can seek permission from a ‘relevant minister’ to vary the Leveson order.
Mr Sherborne told the judge: ‘In terms of writing to the minister, we are going to do so, we are on the point of doing so.’
The claimants asked Associated to provide the ledgers on a voluntary basis. But in his submissions Mr Beltrami said the claimants ‘should be required to abide by basic principles of fairness and justice’.
The case continues.