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French Court Bans Publication Of Topless Kate Photos, Possible Jail Time For Photog And Editor



PARIS - A French court has blocked the future publication by a French magazine of the now infamous topless photos of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, reports the BBC.

The court order prevents French magazine Closer’s publisher, Silvio Berlusconi-owned Mondadori, from “selling, distributing the photos by any means, on any support, to whoever and in any way, including notably on digital tablets,” says Europe 1.

The magazine, which faces a 10,000-euro fine for every breach, will also have to hand the sunbathing photos back to Middleton within the next 24 hours.

According to French daily Libération, the court, however, said that they could not stop Closer from reediting the issue containing the topless pictures.

The ruling only affects the French publisher, not the Irish Daily Star and the Italian magazine CHI, also owned by Mondadori, which both published the photos. Irish Daily Star Editor, Michael O’Kane was suspended following the publication while an internal investigation into his decision to publish the photographs take place, reports Channel 4 news. The newspaper has been under threat of closure since publishing the pictures, but the Guardian says Irish shareholders have been trying to walk the paper “back from the edge.”

According to the Guardian, the decision to publish has threatened the end of self-regulation of Irish newspapers with the justice minister Alan Shatter threatening privacy legislation. He said the publication of the pictures was down to "perceived financial gain" and not "principled freedom of expression" and a belief by certain sections of the print media that "public figures are fair game." He declared he was going to revisit the 2006 privacy bill.

Meanwhile the Editor of Chi magazine defended the publication of the topless pictures, telling Sky News he had done nothing illegal and wanted to show how the Royal family in Britain had modernized. 

“Find le rat” titled the Sun on Tuesday, saying the snapper who took the photos should be hunted down to face jail. The photographer, Valerie Suau, an experienced photographer in her 40s, could face a year in jail along with Closer’s editor.

On Monday, the French court said they were beginning a preliminary investigation to see if there were grounds for criminal charges, reports the BBC. The decision follows a formal complaint by the royals to prosecutors, with aides saying they were pursuing proceedings against both the magazine and the photographer who took the pictures.

Hebergeur d'imageThe Royal couple is on a tour of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. Yesterday, reports the New York Daily News the Duchess of Cambridge did her best to maintain her composure while negotiating a highly awkward moment.

Middleton and Prince William were welcomed to the village of Marau, in the Solomon Islands, by a group of topless women, draped in the island’s traditional garb, who presented the couple with garlands to wear during their visit.

The move seemed to amuse the Duchess, who laughed and covered her face.

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