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UK royals win injunction over topless photos
French court issues ban on Closer magazine from publishing any more topless pictures of Prince William's wife Catherine.
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2012 11:30
The pictures published in Closer show Kate Middleton slipping off her bikini top, and relaxing on a sun lounger [Reuters]

A French court has banned Closer magazine from any further publication or resale of topless pictures of Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, who is the wife of Britain's Prince William.

An injunction, granted by the court on Tuesday, also ordered the magazine to hand over all files of the pictures in its possession to representatives of the royal couple within 24 hours and said it would be fined 10,000 euros ($13,000) for every day's delay.

The ruling prevents Closer, which published the pictures on Friday, from re-using them in print or on its website, as well as from selling them to markets where they have not been published.

Lawyers for the royal couple are seeking damages from the weekly gossip magazine over its publication of the photos in a five-page spread. The scandal has incensed much of the British public and rekindled a debate on privacy laws.

The court in Nanterre, near Paris, said it investigated whether there were 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 has also launched a civil suit against Closer over the photos, which show the Duchess, who was formerly known as 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 photo spread a "grotesque" invasion of the royal couple's privacy.

British newspapers, 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 instead are condemning the photographer.

The Sun tabloid screamed: "Find Le Rat" on its front page on Tuesday and said the photographer would be hunted down and face jail.

On Monday, the publisher of tabloid The Irish Daily Star suspended its editor after the newspaper broke ranks with Irish and British peers, publishing pages from Closer with the photographs in its Saturday edition.

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