Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

French court to rule on Kate topless photos

HONIARA, GUADALCANAL ISLAND, SOLOMON ISLANDS - SEPTEMBER 16: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge pose in traditional Island clothing as they visit the Governor General's house on their Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East on September 16, 2012 in Honiara, Guadalcanal Island. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee tour representing the Queen, taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
HONIARA, GUADALCANAL ISLAND, SOLOMON ISLANDS - SEPTEMBER 16: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge twatch traditional dancing as they arrive at Honiara International Airport during their Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East on September 16, 2012 in Honiara, Guadalcanal Island. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee tour representing the Queen taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, left, and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge speak to each other during their visit at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley, some 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of Lahad Datu, on the island of Borneo Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohd Rasfan, Pool)
Britain's Prince William, left, and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge look down on the three-hundred meter in length Canopy Walkway during their visit at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley, some 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of Lahad Datu, on the island of Borneo Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohd Rasfan, Pool)
Britain's Prince William, fourth left, and his wife Kate, fifth left, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, arrive at Honiara International Airport in Solomon Islands, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, as warriors in traditional dress dance around them. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Britain's Prince William, left, and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk through a bridge at the Borneo Rainforest Research Center in Danum Valley some 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of Lahad Datu, on the island of Borneo, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohd Rasfan, Pool)
Prince William, left, and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk through the rainforest in Danum Valley Research Center in Danum Valley, Sabab, Malaysia, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, Pool)
People gather on and around a caterpillar dozer as they wait on the side of the road to view Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they arrive in Honiara, Solomon Islands, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Danum Valley Research Center in Danum Valley, Sabab, Malaysia, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/ Vincent Thian, Pool)
Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Danum Valley Research Center in Danum Valley, Sabab, Malaysia, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/ Vincent Thian/ Pool)
Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Danum Valley Research Center in Danum Valley, Sabab, Malaysia, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/ Vincent Thian/ Pool)
Britain's Prince William, right, and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the Borneo Rainforest Research Center in Danum Valley some 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of Lahad Datu, on the island of Borneo, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohd Rasfan, Pool)
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - SEPTEMBER 14: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart Kuala Lumpur airport for Sabah Maylasia on day 4 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 14, 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Arhtur Edwards - Pool/Getty Images)
Closer magazine front cover - at the centre of a storm over topless pictures of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) pose with four-year-old Maeve Low as they tour the Rolls-Royce Seletar Campus during the Diamond Jubilee tour at Seletar Aerospace Park on September 12, 2012 in Singapore.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is given flowers by a young girl as she attends a cultural event in Queenstown on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is given a gift as he attends a cultural event in Queenstown on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge tours the Rolls-Royce Seletar Campus on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge listen to a speech during their tour of the Rolls-Royce Seletar Campus on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.
The Duchess of Cambridge meets well wishers during a visit to Queenstown in Singapore, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Prince William and his wife Kate
Britain's Prince William, left, and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tour Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012.
Britain's Prince William, left, and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tour Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their first engagement, an orchid-naming ceremony, in Singapore, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Far- R) attends the welcome ceremony on arrival at the Istana during the Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012.
The Duchess of Cambridge attends an orchid-naming ceremony during the first engagement in Singapore, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Photographers photograph an orchid named in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales at Singapore Botanical Gardens ahead of a visit by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge leave Singapore Botanical Gardens after a visit on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge leave Singapore Botanical Gardens after a visit on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smiles as she views an orchid named in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales at Singapore Botanical Gardens on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.
The Duchess of Cambridge visits a cultural fair at Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park
Pippa Middleton, the sister of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, watches a quarterfinal match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Marin Cilic of Croatia at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
Kate Middleton and Prince William are married by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Spuds-u-like - Prince William and Kate Middleton as created by children's TV programme Small Potatoes (BBC)

A French court is to rule at noon today on a request to halt further publication of topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge.

The royal couple say they are an invasion of their privacy.

The court at Nanterre, Paris, heard arguments yesterday by lawyers for the Duke and Duchess and for the Italian publishing house which owns the popular French gossip magazine Closer.

The royal request was made after Closer printed 14 pictures of the partially-clad Kate in its pages last week.

Yesterday, the Italian gossip magazine Chi - also owned by Mondadori, the publishing house owned by former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi - published a 26-page spread of photos of Kate without her swimsuit top.

An Irish tabloid published more Kate topless photos over the weekend, drawing a vow from Ireland's justice minister to revise privacy laws there.

The photos show the Duchess relaxing during a holiday at a private villa in Provence, sometimes without her bathing suit top and, in one case, her suit bottom partially pulled down to apply sun screen.

St James's Palace called the publications of the photos a "grotesque" invasion of the couple's privacy.

The royal couple's lawyer, Aurelien Hamelle, told the French court that he is seeking 5,000 euro (£4,034) in damages from Closer and an injunction forcing the magazine to stop publishing the issue with the photos.

He also asked the court to fine Closer 10,000 euro (£8,600) a day for each day the injunction is not respected, and 100,000 (£80,600) if the photos are sold.

Mondadori lawyer Delphine Pando told the court that the photos are not theirs to sell.

"We are not the owners of these photos," she said. "The photos are out there. If a TV show wants to show an image of this (magazine) edition, it's got nothing to do with us."

That argument echoed the stance of the editor of Chi, the Italian magazine. Alfonso Signorini told The Associated Press over the weekend that he did not fear legal action since the photos are already in the public domain following Closer's publication.

In addition to the injunction demand, St James's Palace said yesterday the family lawyers would file a criminal complaint against the unidentified photographer or photographers involved. The palace said it would be up to French prosecutors to decide whether to investigate and pursue a criminal case for breach of privacy or trespassing.

That second judicial action was not mentioned in today's proceedings, and there was no mention of the name of the photographer or photographers who took the offending pictures. There was only reference to an "agency."

Meanwhile, in the Irish Republic, Justice Minister Alan Shatter said Monday that the country planned to introduce new privacy laws after the Irish Daily Star newspaper published the topless photographs of the princess.

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