Royal servant allegations appear on website

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Damaging details of an alleged scandal involving a former Royal servant were published for the first time yesterday on a Swiss website.

News of the internet publication looks likely to defeat efforts by the servant to use the British courts to stop the allegations being made public.

Yesterday the High Court continued to uphold the injunction against The Guardian newspaper naming the servant. But Mr Justice Tugendhat said he was reluctant to ban all reporting of the case because it raised issues that may be in the public interest, and also touched on the media's right to freedom of expression.

Mr Justice Tugendhat said he "absolutely understood" that "part or a substantial part" of Mr Browne's application could only be heard in private. But he invited Mr Browne to divide his application into two parts, one public and one private.

Adrienne Page QC, for Guardian Newspapers Ltd, said the problem could be resolved by imposing reporting restrictions. "This is a matter of enormous interest to the press and vitally affects what the press might or might not report." She said it was in the interest of the press that there should be a complete understanding of the factual and legal issuesand how they related to one another.

At the weekend The Mail on Sunday had run a story on its front page claiming that a former servant at Buckingham Palace had brought a legal action against the newspaper. It is this servant whom The Guardian wish to name. The Mail on Sunday also claimed it received a written demand from a senior member of the Royal Family that there should be no publication of the story.

The second injunction against The Guardian was granted on Monday evening over the telephone by Mr Justice Henriques. Lawyers for Associated Newspapers, the publishers ofThe Mail on Sunday, said they intended to make a "contingent application, in relation to The Guardian legal action". The Daily Telegraph were also represented for part of yesterday's hearing.

The injunction against The Guardian was extended till 11am this morning when the hearing will continue.