(Photo: (Reuters/Luke MacGregor)
The intrusive topless photos of Kate Middleton could lead to charges being handed out to two people in France, a publisher and a photographer, thought to be involved in the scandal.
The two people have now been put under official investigation and are likely to be charged with "invasion of privacy" for the Kate Middleton photo scandal that hit last September.
The topless photos, originally published in "Closer" magazine, were taken while Prince William and Kate were staying at the Chateau d'Autet in Provence, France – a private rural villa.
The first person charged is Ernesto Mauri, the CEO of Mondadori, the company responsible for publishing Closer in France.
The photos outraged the British Royal Family, and especially Prince William, who remembers his mother, Princess Diana, being hounded and chased by the paparazzi in France when her car crashed resulting in her death.
The British Royal Family sued Closer in the aftermath of the Kate photos, and the magazine was ordered to hand over all intrusive photos of Middleton.
"These snapshots which showed the intimacy of a couple, partially naked on the terrace of a private home, surrounded by a park several hundred meters from a public road, and being able to legitimately assume that they are protected from passers-by, are by nature particularly intrusive. (They) were thus subjected to this brutal display the moment the cover appeared," wrote the judge in his judgement.
Valerie Suau, a photographer of a local paper, La Provence, has also been charged with invasion of privacy for the pictures of Middleton. However, those photos featured Middleton wearing a bikini, reports the National Post.
It is still unknown who took the original topless photos, and so no-one has been charged for that incident. It is known that the photographer took the intrusive photos from hundreds of meters away by a roadside, using a long-range lens to zoom in on the Duchess as she sunbathed in the private villa on a French rural hillside.
It has been reported that the French court will release their decision on the case on June 5.
Here is a video news report into the developments: