The Mirror launched its defence against phone hacking claims by Prince Harry and others yesterday in unconventional style – with an admission and an apology. It admitted some instances of “unauthorised information gathering” (UIG) in the years when Piers Morgan was editor, and said they should never have happened. Morgan has denied ever hacking or authorising hacking and he repeated that denial to the BBC’s Amol Rajan yesterday, but the prosecution in the current High Court trial is expected to call witnesses who’ll contest that claim. The paper’s barrister said its apology was not offered in hopes of reducing damages. Mark Stephens, a veteran media lawyer, said it was an odd opening gambit. He told the Sir Harry Evans journalism summit Mirror Group Newspapers had started the trial 30-love down and would lose in straight sets.
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