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Prince Harry looks on outside the Rolls Building of the High Court in London on June 7.TOBY MELVILLE/Reuters

A lawsuit by Prince Harry, Elton John and five other public figures accusing a newspaper publisher of using private detectives and listening devices to illegally snoop on them should go to a full trial, a British judge ruled Friday.

Justice Matthew Nicklin rejected a bid by the publisher of the Daily Mail to dismiss the case without trial, saying defence lawyers had not delivered a “knockout blow” to the claimants’ case.

The claimants, who include Elton John’s husband David Furnish and actors Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost, accuse publisher Associated Newspapers Ltd. of unlawfully gathering information by bugging homes and cars, recording phone conversations and using deceit to obtain medical records.

Harry said the publisher targeted him and the people closest to him by unlawfully hacking voice mails, tapping land lines, obtaining itemized phone bills and the flight information of his then-girlfriend, Chelsy Davy.

Associated Newspapers strongly denies the allegations and asked the judge to throw out the case. At hearings in March its lawyers argued that the claims – which date as far back as 1993 – were brought too late and that claimants were relying on confidential evidence the papers turned over to a 2012 public inquiry into tabloid wrongdoing.

Justice Nicklin ruled that the claimants cannot rely on the documents handed over to the 2012 Leveson inquiry, which was sparked by revelations of phone hacking by the now-defunct News of the World tabloid. But he said the case can go ahead because the claims “have a real prospect of succeeding.”

“Associated has not been able to deliver a `knockout blow’ to the claims of any of these claimants,” the judge said in a written ruling.

He rejected the publisher’s argument that the case should be dismissed because the claims had not been brought within six years of the alleged offence.

“In my judgment, each claimant has a real prospect of demonstrating that Associated, or those for whom Associated is responsible, concealed from him/her the relevant facts upon which a worthwhile claim of unlawful information gathering could have been advanced,” the judge wrote.

The judge said the claimants, who also include anti-racism campaigner Doreen Lawrence and former politician Simon Hughes, could ask the government to lift restrictions on using the confidential documents, or Associated Newspapers could voluntarily turn over the evidence. But he said “that is not something that the court can order on this application.”

The case is one of several lawsuits brought in the U.K. by Harry, who has made it a personal mission to tame Britain’s tabloid press. He blames the British media for the death of his mother, Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi.

Harry and his wife Meghan cited press intrusion as a reason for their decision to quit royal duties in 2020 and move to California.

The judge said a new hearing in the case is set for Nov. 21. No date has been set for the trial, where Prince Harry could give evidence. He unexpectedly attended the March hearings in the Associated Newspapers case, though he did not take the stand.

In June he became the first senior member of the royal family to testify in court in more than a century when he gave evidence in a separate phone hacking lawsuit against the publishers of the Daily Mirror.

Harry is also suing the publisher of The Sun newspaper alongside actor Hugh Grant. That case is scheduled to go to trial early next year.

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