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Princess Kate Middleton and Prince William - the Irish Daily Star editor has been suspended for publishing topless images of the Princess. Photo by: Google Images

Kate Middleton topless storm continues as Irish newspaper editor suspended

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Princess Kate Middleton and Prince William - the Irish Daily Star editor has been suspended for publishing topless images of the Princess. Photo by: Google Images

The editor of the Irish Daily Star has been suspended pending a full investigation after the newspaper printed topless photos of Kate Middleton.

Veteran journalist Michael O'Kane was suspended on Monday after the Irish tabloid newspaper re-published the controversial images which first appeared in a French magazine this past weekend.

TheIrish Justice Minister Alan Shatter has said he intends to revisit privacy laws but his comments caused a rift in the Irish cabinet with Communications Minister Pat Rabbittestating
"Notwithstanding the lamentable lapse of judgment and taste by the 'Irish Daily Star', I would have to be persuaded that resort to legislation on privacy is warranted," he said.

In a statement issued by Independent Star Limited, the company said an investigation has been launched into the circumstances that led to the Irish Daily Star re-publishing pages from the French magazine 'Closer.'

The board of The Irish Star is to meet on Tuesday to discuss the crisis which could cost up to 100 jobs.

The intimate photos of the Royal couple first appeared in the French magazine Closer last week. The couple have already begun a civil action against the photographer.

The British co-publisher of The Irish Star stated he wanted the tabloid closed. Richard Desmond, who made his own fortune from pornogrpahy, claimed the pictures were in poor taste and could not be defended.

A palace spokeswoman said: "The complaint concerns the taking of photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge whilst on holiday and the publication of those photographs in breach of their privacy."

A French court granted the Royal family an injunction preventing the photographs being published.

In the wake of the controversy, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said he will revisit Ireland’s Privacy Bill. Shatter condemned the Star’s publication of the images in a statement.

"Some sections of the print media are either unable or unwilling in their reportage to distinguish between ‘prurient interest’ and ‘the public interest’.

"This detrimentally impacts upon the lives of both public personalities and private individuals and it seems that no value of any nature is attached to an individual's right to privacy, a right recognised by the Constitution and by the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

"It is perceived financial gain as opposed to any principled freedom of expression that for some is the dominant value.

"The publication by the Irish Daily Star in Ireland of topless photographs of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is a clear illustration of this.

"It is clear that sections of the print media believe that public figures are fair game and have no right to privacy in respect of any aspect of their lives.

"It is my intention to revisit the provisions of the Privacy Bill 2006 which was reinstated to the Seanad Order paper following the formation of the Government, to consider what changes should be made to it in the context of developments that have taken place since its first publication and to then progress its enactment.

"What is needed is balanced legislation that does nothing to inhibit proper investigative journalism, the reporting of news and the expression of opinion on issues of genuine public interest in a manner that respects the ethos and values of a constitutional democracy but which also prevents the abuse of an individual's human rights and flagrant violation of an individual's right to privacy."

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