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'Wasted Time': No-Show Prince Harry Scolded by High Court for Ditching First Day of Testimony in Phone Hacking Trial

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Source: mega

Jun. 5 2023, Published 1:08 p.m. ET

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Prince Harry was scolded by a judge when he failed to appear in court for the first day of his phone hacking trial, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Prince Harry's barrister — or trial lawyer as they're known in the U.S. — informed the high court that the Duke of Sussex was absent due to his daughter Lilibet's birthday.

Prince Harry was expected to join other witnesses, who where present in court, to testify on alleged phone hacking by UK media outlet the Daily Mirror.

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Harry's presence in court was highly anticipated, given that a senior royal hasn't testified in high court since 1891. The Duke burst onlookers' bubble, though, when he failed to appear for the first day of testimony.

"The Duke of Sussex is attending tomorrow to give evidence. He flew yesterday evening from Los Angeles. He was attending his daughter's birthday yesterday and he arrives," barrister David Sherborne said of his client, until he was interrupted by the judge, who expressed his utter shock that Harry was a no-show.

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"I'm a little surprised that the first witness is not going to be available today," Judge Fancourt told Sherborne.

Prince Harry's barrister explained that his client was in a "different category."

"He is in a different category to the other three claimants because of his travel arrangements and security arrangements," Sherborne explained.

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Justice Fancourt wasn't pleased with Prince Harry being MIA or his barrister's excuse for the absence.

The judge reiterated that the high court expected that some witness testimony may be needed sooner than others, "and that's why I directed that the first witness should be available."

The barrister sheepishly replied, "I hear what your lordship says."

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Judge Fancourt appeared annoyed with the ordeal and flatly told Harry's attorney that there was no point in continuing to hash out his client's absence, "as it appears nothing can be done."

Andrew Green KC, barrister for Mirror Group Newspapers, slammed the Duke for seemingly not taking the trial seriously.

"It is absolutely extraordinary that we were told only yesterday that he was not available for day one of his trial," Green said on behalf of his client. "We are deeply troubled by that. We have done everything we can to not waste court time. Now we are going to have some wasted time this afternoon."

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