Ruling expected on Kate photographs

Ruling expected on Kate photographs

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continue to tour the South Pacific while their lawyers are in court over the topless photos

French lawyer Aurelien Hamelle is acting on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (AP)

First published in National News © by

A French court is expected to later announce whether it will order a halt to further publication of topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Tribunal de Grande Instance in Nanterre, Paris, will rule on an injunction to prevent further use by Closer magazine of the photographs showing the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing on holiday in France.

The civil case is seeking 5,000 euro (£4,034) in damages and a ban on the French magazine - which is run by a different company from the British version - re-publishing the images.

Representing the royal couple, lawyer Aurelien Hamelle has also asked the court to fine Closer 10,000 euro (£8,070) a day for each day the injunction is not respected, and 100,000 (£80,720) if the photos are sold.

But lawyers representing Italian publishing group Mondadori, which owns France's Closer and is controlled by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, told the court that the photos are not theirs to sell.

Mondadori-owned Italian gossip magazine Chi has also published a 26-page spread with the topless pictures.

The court ruling comes after the Irish Daily Star announced on Monday that it has suspended its editor, Michael O'Kane, pending an investigation into the newspaper's decision to use the pictures

Jointly owned by Richard Desmond's Northern and Shell and INM, the Irish Daily Star's decision to run them on Saturday infuriated the media mogul. Mr Desmond has said he wants it shut down, with insiders at his corporation warning "he says what he means, and means what he says".

Lawyers for William and Kate have also asked France's criminal prosecutors to consider charging the photographer who took the pictures.

Currently on a Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East and South Pacific, the royal couple will on Tuesday travel to one of the smallest countries in the world, the island nation of Tuvalu.

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