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September 18 2012 3 18 /09 /September /2012 05:56

Topless pictures of Duchess were invasion of 'intimate moment in married life' Royal lawyers argue

A lawyer for the the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge urged a French court to ban the republication or resale of topless photos of the duchess, saying they were from a "highly intimate moment".

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge smile as they watch a shark ceremony during their arrival at Marapa Island, Solomon Islands, September 17, 2012
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge smile as they watch a shark ceremony during their arrival at Marapa Island, Solomon Islands Photo: REUTERS

A lawyer for the the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge urged a French court to ban the republication or resale of topless photos of the duchess, saying they were from a "highly intimate moment".

 

Speaking at a court hearing in the Paris suburb of Nanterre, lawyer Aurelien Hamelle said the photographs of Catherine sunbathing on the balcony of a French chateau had no place in the public domain.

 

The photographs, published in French gossip magazine Closer, were taken "in a highly intimate moment during a scene of married life and have no place on the cover of a magazine," Hamelle told the court.

 

Drawing a parallel with the "fatal hunt" by paparazzi that led to the death of William's mother Princess Diana in 1997, Hamelle urged the presiding judge to grant an injunction against all republishing of the photographs in print and in digital form and to ban their resale.

It was unclear when a decision would be made on an injunction, part of legal action Britain's royals are taking after the photos were published by Closer as well as Ireland's Daily Star and Italian magazine Chi.

 

The prosecutor's office in Nanterre said Monday it had also received a criminal complaint against persons unknown from the royal couple.

 

The pair have said they want criminal charges for the alleged breach of French privacy law brought against both Closer and the photographer, whose identity the publication has not revealed.

 

The Duke and Duchess believe they have an "open and shut case" for their civil action for breach of privacy after the unnamed photographer took long lens shots of the Duchess sunbathing while the couple were staying in a chateau in Provence two weeks ago.

 

The court adjourned the decision until tomorrow morning. If successful it would prevent the magazine publishing more pictures of the Duchess and could force them to withdraw copies of the magazine from sale.

 

However, the couple also believe the photographer who took the pictures has committed a criminal act under French law and want a criminal investigation to run in tandem with the civil case.

 

A St James's Palace source said: "Papers for the criminal complaint have been filed this morning in France. It is now up to the French prosecutors to decide whether to investigate and pursue the complaint."

 

One royal aide today warned the photographer who took the pictures - who has not been named by Closer and has been lying low since the scandal erupted - that he or she will be identified.

 

"We will find him," the aide promised.

 

The Duke and Duchess have been spending the seventh day of the tour of the Far East watching demonstrations of local dancing and culture on an island-hopping tour of the Solomon Islands.

 

They are now spending a romantic night together on the tiny island of Tuvanipupu, where they hope to go snorkelling along coral reefs tomorrow.

 

A spokesman for the couple said: "They are focusing on the tour, though they are being kept aware of developments and are directing a lot of the developments themselves."

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