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Court decision on topless Duchess of Cambridge pictures due

A decision is due today over whether to band further publication of topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, pictured here arriving in Marau, Guadacanal Province on a tour of the Far East and South Pacific. Picture: Mark Large/Daily Mail/PA Wire A decision is due today over whether to band further publication of topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, pictured here arriving in Marau, Guadacanal Province on a tour of the Far East and South Pacific. Picture: Mark Large/Daily Mail/PA Wire

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
8:21 AM

A decision is expected today by a French court over whether it will order a halt to further publication of pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge topless.

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The Tribunal de Grande Instance in Nanterre, Paris, will rule on an injunction to prevent further use by Closer magazine in France of the photographs showing the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing while on holiday in France with Prince William.

The civil case is seeking 5,000 euro (£4,034) in damages and a ban on the magazine - which is run by a different company from the British version of Closer - republishing the images.

Lawyer Aurelien Hamelle, representing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, 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.

Chi, also owned by Mondadori, has also published a 26-page spread with the topless pictures, which were taken while the royal couple were holidaying at a chateau in Provence owned by the Queen’s nephew Lord Linley.

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 Prince William and the Duchess have also asked France’s criminal prosecutors to consider charging the photographer who took the pictures, which were first published last week by French Closer magazine.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are currently on a Jubilee tour of the South Pacific and the Far East.

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