Criminal probe over topless Kate photos
A French court opened a criminal investigation into charges that photographers and France's Closer magazine breached the privacy of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge by publishing topless photos of her.
CNN reports that the gossip rag has been fined, and that the board of another newspaper that also published the photos will meet to consider closing the paper.
In a scandal that has incensed much of the British public and rekindled a debate on privacy laws, lawyers for the royal couple are seeking damages from the magazine over its publication of the photos in a five-page spread on Friday.
The court in Nanterre, near Paris, said it would investigate whether there are grounds for criminal charges against Closer, published by Italy's Mondadori, and the paparazzi who snapped pictures of the Duchess from a distance while she sunbathed topless with William at a villa in southern France.
The couple have also launched a civil suit against Closer over the photos, which show Kate Middleton slipping off her bikini top, relaxing on a sun lounger and at one point pulling down the back of her bikini bottoms.
Buckingham Palace has called the photos a "grotesque invasion" of the royal couple's privacy. British papers, fighting for their reputation after a string of scandals, have agreed not to publish the images, as has the British edition of Closer which is managed separately, and have condemned the photographer.
The Sun tabloid screamed "Find Le Rat" on its front page on Tuesday and said the photographer would be hunted down and faced jail.
On Monday, the publisher of the tabloid Irish Daily Star suspended its editor after the paper broke ranks with Irish and British peers, publishing pages from Closer with the photos in its Saturday edition.
Published: 18th September 2012
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