Prince Charles versus Mail on Sunday hearing in February

February
13 next year has been scheduled for a High Court hearing in which the
Prince of Wales is taking the Mail on Sunday to court in a bid to
prevent them using any further material from copies they have obtained
of his private journals.

The Prince launched the action after
publication of comments from one of his journals relating to to hand
over of Hong Kong to the Chinese in 1997. In it he described Chinese
diplomats as “appalling old waxworks.”

In a preliminary skirmish
at the High Court today in the run up to the February hearing QC, Hugh
Tomlinson, for the Prince branded the copying of the journals as
“blatant, outrageous and wrongful interference.”

Today’s hearing
was aimed at preventing any further disclosures about the journals
until the February hearing at which the Prince’s lawyers will argue
that they are entitled to “summary judgment” – judgment without the
need for a full hearing – in their claim for court orders blocking
further use being made of the leaked journals.

Tomlinson said
today that the article which appeared in the Mail on Sunday amounted to
“unjustified publication of misappropriated documents of a personal
nature.”

In the legal proceedings issued against the paper the
Prince accuses the Mail on Sunday of breach of confidence and
infringement of copyright and seeks return of the journals which have
been copied.

Tomlinson told Mr Justice Kitchin that a former
employee of the Prince had wrongfully copied the journals in the
Prince’s private office and that they had then fallen into the hands of
the paper.

“It is a blatant, outrageous and wrongful interference with material from the prince’s private office,” said Tomlinson.

At
the end of this morning’s hearing lawyers for the Mail on Sunday and
the Prince agreed to get together to negotiate terms of an undertaking
under which the paper will not disclose the nature of any further
copies of the Princes journals that it has in its possession.

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