Britain's Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, ride a traditional war canoe as they arrive in Tavanipupu, Solomon Islands, September 17, 2012. Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, are at the third stop of a nine-day tour of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee. (Photo : Reuters)
French police raided the office of Closer magazine in Paris Wednesday morning as they searched for the paparazzi that photographed Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton sunbathing topless a few weeks ago, the Telegraph reported.
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The investigation was launched on Monday, the paper reported, a day before the royal couple won an injunction against further distribution of the photos.
On Tuesday, a French court ordered that the topless photos of the Duchess be returned to her and her husband, Prince William, within 24 hours. The magazine was also fined $13,000 for each time it republished or distributed the images.
Tuesday’s ruling has meant that Closer cannot reuse the photos in print or online and cannot sell the photos to countries who have not published them already.
According to the Telegraph, a police source, who spoke about the raid on Wednesday, said, “The aim is to seize any information which might lead to the identity of the photographer.”
The royal couple also filed a criminal complaint against the unknown photographer who took the photos. The scandalous photos, which were published last week, were taken while the Duke and Duchess were vacationing in a secluded chateau in the south of France owned by the Prince’s relative.
The Telegraph reported that the court’s ruling on Tuesday described Closer’s publication of the photos as “brutal exhibition” of the couple’s privacy. The identity of the photographer has not yet been revealed.
Despite the court ruling, the photos have already appeared in two European publications. The Irish Daily Star published the photos on Saturday and was followed by Italian gossip magazine Chi, which published the photos in a 26-page spread on Monday.
Owners of the Irish Daily Star have since apologized for the paper’s decision to publish the photos and have suspended the editor.
Prince William and his wife, Kate, are wrapping up a royal tour of South Asia to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.