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France bans future publication of Kate's topless photos

September 18, 2012 22:08 IST

After days of furore, a French court on Tuesday blocked the future publication of topless photos of Prince William's wife Kate Middleton and asked Closer magazine to hand over the original pictures to the royal couple within 24 hours.

The court injunction came after William and Kate, both 30, took legal action against the French glossy magazine for selling and distributing the images.

The publishers must give the originals to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge within 24 hours or face a daily fine of 10,000 Euros (8,000 pounds), the court said.

The magazine had published on Friday several images of Kate sunbathing while on a holiday in a chateau in southern France.

Reacting to the court's ruling, William and Kate welcomed the decision to ban Closer magazine from any further publication or resale of topless pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge.

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcome the judge's ruling," a spokeswoman for St James's Palace said.

The photographs were also published by the Irish edition of Daily Star, whose editor has been suspended.

No British newspaper has printed the pictures.

The couple argued that the publication of the photos by the French magazine breached their privacy. The BBC reported from Paris that the ruling came after prosecutors said they were considering whether there were grounds for criminal charges.

The decision to begin the preliminary criminal probe follows a formal complaint by the royals to prosecutors, with aides saying they were looking for proceedings against both the magazine and the photographer who took the pictures.

Aurelien Hamelle, the lawyer representing Prince William and Kate, said the photos captured were intimate and personal and had no place on the front page of a magazine, but a lawyer for Closer reportedly claimed the royal couple's reaction was disproportionate.

Meanwhile, Irish Daily Star editor Michael O'Kane has been suspended while an internal investigation is being carried out into the publication of Kate's photographs, BBC said.

The royal couple is on the final leg of its nine-day Diamond Jubilee tour of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. They are currently on the island of Tuvalu.

Prasun Sonwalkar
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