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Danish mag to publish topless Kate pics

20 September 2012, 16:00

Stockholm - A Danish magazine was set on Thursday to publish pictures of Prince William's wife Catherine sunbathing topless, despite the British royals' legal moves in France to stop the spread of the photos.

A Swedish celebrity magazine on Wednesday joined the growing list of European publications to print the paparazzi snaps, which were covertly taken while the royal couple were on holiday in the south of France this month.

The Danish-based Aller Media company owns the Swedish magazine Se och Hoer (See and Hear), which splashed 11 of the candid pictures over three pages.

'It's nothing special'

Aller Media also owns the Danish celebrity magazine Se og Hoer, which announced that it plans to publish a 16-page spread with the pictures on Thursday.

The pictures, which have infuriated the British royal family and revived debate on press intrusion, were first published by French magazine Closer last week.

Ireland's Daily Star and Italy's Chi magazine swiftly followed suit and the images have been widely circulated on the internet.

"This is nothing unusual, these are quite nice pictures if you compare them with other celebrity pictures that we publish all the time," Se och Hoer chief editor Carina Loefkvist told AFP.

The publication in Sweden did not make headlines, with only two tabloids mentioning it and the rest of the media ignoring it.

Loefkvist had no figures for the number of copies Se och Hoer sold on Wednesday.

"It's been a bit of a topic of conversation... but it's nothing special," she said.

The magazine had a regular weekly circulation of 105 600 in 2011.

Neither the Swedish nor the Danish magazine were going to make the pictures available online.

Civil injunction

Loefkvist said her magazine bought the pictures "from photographers and photo agencies, the way we always do" and "before everything erupted".

The royal family's lawyers have obtained a civil injunction and sought criminal charges in Paris in a bid to curb the spread of the pictures, which emerged while Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, and his wife were on an Asia-Pacific tour.

French authorities on Tuesday banned Closer magazine from any further distribution of the pictures and began a criminal probe into how they were obtained.

The court also ordered the magazine to hand over the files with the images to the royal couple, which the publication did on Wednesday.

Closer has said it does not own the images and simply bought them for exclusive first use, so it likely does not possess all the original files. It has refused to say from whom it bought them and who the photographer is.

The French court also banned Closer from reusing the pictures in print or on its website and re-selling.

Self-regulated code

The chief editor of the Danish magazine, Kim Henningsen, said he was "incredibly proud" to have obtained the sole Danish rights to the snaps.

"Our readers love to follow the lives of the royals and they want scoops," he said on the magazine's website, noting these were photographs "which the whole world is talking about but very few have actually seen".

Asked about Thursday's publication, a spokesperson for St James's Palace, the office of Prince William and Catherine, issued a similar comment to one made after the publication in Italy.

"As we've said, we will not be commenting on potential legal action concerning the alleged intended publication of the photos save to say that all proportionate responses will be kept under review," the spokesperson said.

Loefkvist said she was "not really" concerned about any potential legal action over the Swedish magazine's decision to print the photos.

"We'll have to see what they think of it... This was a regular news judgement," she said.

In Sweden, the press is governed by a self-regulated code of ethics and not legislation.

Complaints can be filed to a so-called Press Ombudsman, who decides whether to take the matter before a kind of tribunal, called the Press Council.

A newspaper found in violation of good journalistic practice is expected to publish the Press Council's written decision and pay an administrative fine.



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