Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Topless Kate Middleton pictures a brutal display, says French court

NOTE ALTERNATE CROP.The Duchess of Cambridge is carried from a boat to the plane in Marau in Guadacanal Province, Solomon Islands, before departing for Tuvalu during a nine-day royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 18, 2012. See PA story ROYAL Jubilee. Photo credit should read: Mark Large/Daily Mail/PA Wire

The Tribunal de Grande Instance has banned France's Closer magazine from any further publication of topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge and ordered it to hand over all the pictures.

In its ruling, the court said: "These snapshots which showed the intimacy of a couple, partially naked on the terrace of a private home, surrounded by a park several hundred metres from a public road, and being able to legitimately assume that they are protected from passers-by, are by nature particularly intrusive."

The court described the pictures as a "brutal display" of the Duke and Duchess's private lives and required them to be handed over within the next 24 hours.

Publishers Mondadori France faces a 10,000 euro (£8,070) fine for each day the injunction is not respected.

The Paris court's ruling only affects the French magazine and does not to extend to publications in Ireland and Italy which have also used the pictures.

It also prevents French Closer, which is run by a different company to the British version, from using the photos on its website and tablet application.

Publication of the pictures by the Irish Daily Star led yesterday to the suspension of the newspaper's editor.

Michael O'Kane now faces an investigation by the paper's Ireland-based co-proprietors, Independent News and Media (INM).

Jointly owned by Richard Desmond's Northern and Shell, the Irish Daily Star's decision to run the pictures 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".

Alan Shatter, the Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence said yesterday the Republic will introduce privacy laws on the back of the scandal.

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

The Mondadori stable is controlled by controversial former Italian prime minister and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi.

Chi editor Alfonso Signorini yesterday defended his decision to use the pictures, claiming they were permissible under Italian privacy laws and satisfied the curiosity of readers.

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