Prince Harry has settled the remainder of his phone-hacking claim against the Mirror Group

London (AFP) - Britain’s Prince Harry on Friday settled a long-running lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) but vowed to continue his legal battles with several other UK media outlets.

The Duke of Sussex sued MGN – which publishes The Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People tabloids – alleging its journalists were linked to deceptive and unlawful methods, including phone hacking.

A High Court judge ruled in the prince’s favour in December, concluding phone hacking had been “widespread and habitual” at MGN titles in the late 1990s and the duke’s phone had been tapped to a “modest extent”.

Judge Timothy Fancourt awarded him £140,600 ($177,300) in damages, after finding evidence of these practices in 15 of the 33 sample articles that Harry had submitted in the case.

Harry’s legal claim had included a further 115 articles, and they might have become the subject of a further trial.

But following a High Court hearing on Friday, not attended by Harry, his lawyer David Sherborne confirmed a settlement had been reached with MGN to end the outstanding parts of his claim.

“Everything we said was happening at Mirror Group was in fact happening and indeed far worse, as the court ruled in an extremely damaging judgment,” Harry said in a statement read out by Sherborne outside court.

“As I said back in December, our mission continues,” he added.

“I believe in the positive change it will bring for all of us. It is the very reason why I started this and why I will continue to see it through to the end.”

MGN will pay him “a substantial additional sum by way of damages and all the costs of his claim”, Sherborne revealed.

He said this included an interim payment towards the costs of £400,000.

- ‘Clarity’ -

Harry, the younger son of King Charles III, is one of seven high-profile people, including Elton John, bringing legal action against the publisher of the Daily Mail over allegations of unlawful information gathering.

He and actor Hugh Grant are also suing News Group Newspapers (NGN), part of Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire and publisher of The Sun and the now-defunct News Of The World tabloids, over similar claims.

However, Harry last month dropped his libel case against UK newspaper the Mail on Sunday over an article on his separate legal battle with the UK government over security arrangements when he is in Britain.

In the now-settled MGN case, Harry became the first British royal in over a century to take to the witness stand when he gave evidence in the trial.

The last time a royal had given evidence in court was in the 1890s, when the future king Edward VII took the stand in a slander trial.

Harry, 39, accused MGN of “industrial scale” phone hacking during emotional testimony in which he relived upsetting episodes of his life.

The prince argued he had been the victim of relentless and distressing media intrusion virtually his entire life.

He stood down from royal duties in early 2020 for a life in California with his American wife Meghan, in part for privacy reasons.

MGN had admitted to “some evidence” of unlawful information gathering, including for a story about Harry.

But it had denied intercepting voicemail and also argued that some claims were brought too late by Harry and several other claimants involved in the case.

An MGN spokesperson said on Friday: “We are pleased to have reached this agreement, which gives our business further clarity to move forward from events that took place many years ago and for which we have apologised.”