Phone hacking trial featuring Harry against tabloid publisher set to begin

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A High Court trial with a tabloid newspaper publisher which is set to see the Duke of Sussex enter the witness box is due to begin.

Harry is one of a number of high-profile figures bringing claims against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) over alleged unlawful information gathering at its titles.

Other celebrities involved include singer and former Girls Aloud member Cheryl, the estate of the late singer George Michael, ex-footballer and television presenter Ian Wright and actor Ricky Tomlinson.

Royal visit to Tyne and Wear
Cheryl will give evidence (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The other people selected for trial are former Coronation Street actress Nikki Sanderson, comedian Paul Whitehouse’s ex-wife Fiona Wightman and actor Michael Turner.

MGN is contesting the claims, arguing that some have been brought too late.

Last month, lawyers for the group of claimants said that all the witnesses on their side would be giving evidence in person.

This means the duke, who is expected to give evidence in June, will make a second visit to the High Court this year.

The trial comes after Harry made a surprise appearance at the Royal Courts of Justice in March to attend a preliminary hearing in his separate claim against Associated Newspapers Limited – the publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.

MGN – publisher of titles including The Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People – has previously settled a number of claims against it in relation to unlawful information gathering.

An earlier trial of representative claims, including those brought by former Coronation Street actress Shobna Gulati, ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne and actress Sadie Frost, was heard in 2015 and is the only other trial which has taken place during the long-running litigation.

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