UK & World News
French Court To Rule Over Topless Kate Photos
A French court is expected to announce shortly 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 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's decision is expected to be announced by 11am UK time.
It comes after the Irish Daily Star yesterday announced 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".
Alan Shatter, the Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, yesterday said the Republic will introduce privacy laws on the back of the scandal.
Lawyers for William and Kate have also asked France's criminal prosecutors to consider charging the photographer who took the pictures.
The scandal first erupted last week when Closer - which is run by a different company from the British version - ran the images of the royal couple enjoying private holiday moments at Chateau d'Autet, near Aix-en-Provence.
St James's Palace's robust response to their publication came after it said in a statement that the pictures were a "grotesque" invasion and a red line had been crossed.
The royal couple are currently on a Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East and South Pacific and have now travelled to one of the smallest countries in the world, the island nation of Tuvalu.