By BRIAN MELLEY Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — Prince Harry is expected to testify in a London courtroom in June in one of his phone hacking lawsuits against British tabloids, lawyers said Wednesday.
A trial in a case involving the Duke of Sussex and three others against the publisher of The Mirror is due to start May 9 in the High Court and last six to seven weeks.
While the trial begins three days after the coronation of his father, King Charles III, Harry is is not expected to take the witness stand until early or mid-June, according to a preliminary schedule of witnesses. It’s not clear if Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will attend the coronation.
Harry’s testimony will be the second time he’s been in the High Court in three months after his surprise appearance last week in a similar case.
Harry sat through parts of three days of hearings to see if the phone hacking suit he brought with Elton John, actresses Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost, and others survives a legal challenge by the publisher of The Daily Mail.
His presence in court for the dense legal arguments indicated the importance of the case to Harry in his broader battle against the British press. He has several lawsuits against the news media and has said he wants to reform the tabloid press as part of his life’s work.
British tabloid publishers have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to settle claims dating back well over a decade that journalists and private investigators hired by them hacked the voicemails of celebrities, politicians and others in the public eye.
The case against Mirror Group Newspapers alleges that Harry’s voicemail messages were intercepted.
The Mirror publisher is contesting the claims and argues they were brought too late.
The May trial is a test case by four claimants against the Mirror out of a larger group of well-known people who sued the publisher.
Other claimants are Coronation Street actress Nikki Sanderson, comedian Paul Whitehouse’s ex-wife, Fiona Wightman, and actor Michael Turner.