Appeals court maintains penalty for breach of privacy and dismisses Closers appeals

A French magazine has lost its entreaty against penalties foisted after it published a photo of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing topless.

Two senior editors at the personality magazine Closer, and two photographers suspected of taking the long lens kills in 2012, had appealed against the penalties, which wereissued in September 2017 for violating the privacy of the duchess.

A French appeals court on Wednesday upheld the two EUR4 5,000 penalties- the maximum gave- and dismissed the appeals.

The magazine had produced grainy photographs of the duchess wearing merely bikini feet while she and her husband were on holiday at a private chateau owned by Viscount Linley, the Queen’s nephew, in the Luberon region of south-east France.

Six people went on trial after the pictures were published in Closer, and a local newspaper, La Provence. They were splashed across the cover of Closer under the headline:” Oh my God: the photos that will go around the world .” More topless photographs of the duchess featured inside.

In a word read out to the court in May last year, William said the case had brought back unpleasant reminiscences of the paparazzi who regularly hounded his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who was killed in a car disintegrate in Paris in 1997 while being pursued by photographers.

The magazine’s writer, Laurence Pieau, and its publisher, Ernesto Mauri, were fined EUR4 5,000 last year while the photographers were ordered to pay EUR5, 000, with another EUR5, 000 payable if they reoffended.

The magazine was also ordered to pay EUR1 00,000 in injuries to the royal couple, considerably lower than the EUR1. 5m the couple’s legal crew had demanded.

The court of appeal in Versailles, west of Paris, likewise justified the penalties handed to the two photographers suspected of taking the pictures, who repudiate responsibility.

The French prosecutor Marc Brisset-Foucault had told the court:” There was an absolutely unacceptable breach , not only of its protection and the private lives of these two souls, but too of the dignity of a woman .”

Paul-Albert Iweins, a lawyer acting for Closer, had asked the court to either nullify or reduce the fines implemented by a lower court in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre, arguing that they were excessive for a privacy case.

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