French court orders turnover of Kate pics

Sept. 18, 2012 at 8:53 AM   |   Comments

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NANTERRE, France, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- A French court granted an injunction Tuesday to stop further publication of topless photos of the wife of Britain's Prince William, attorneys say.

The judge ordered the magazine "Closer" to hand over the photographs within 24 hours, Radio France International reported.

French prosecutors also announced Tuesday the start of a preliminary criminal probe that will determine whether the photos violated laws dealing with the right to privacy. The officials also will have decide who to file criminal charges against.

Attorney Aurelien Hamelle, who asked for the injunction on Monday, said the duke and duchess of Cambridge were "profoundly shocked and troubled" by the photos' publication. He added the gossip magazine also should be fined.

Closer published photos of Kate Friday without a swimsuit top during a vacation at a private villa in France's southeastern Provence region on the Mediterranean near Italy.

Hamelle told the court he wanted $6,550 in damages from Closer in addition to the injunction. He additionally sought $13,100 a day from Closer for each day the injunction is not respected and $131,000 if Closer sells the photos.

Closer attorney Delphine Pando said Monday Closer didn't own the photos so it couldn't sell them.

Closer had no intention of republishing the photographs but had no control over the agency that had them, Pando said.

She added the storm over the photos -- which she called a "disproportionate response" to their publication -- was created by the royal couple, not the magazine.

"The damage came from the direct declaration of the couple," she said, asking the judge to throw out the case.

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