French verdict delayed over topless pictures of Kate Middleton

NANTERRE, France – A French court will postpone to September its verdict over the publication by a French magazine of topless photos of Prince William's wife Kate in France, a judicial source said Monday, July 3.

The court in Nanterre, near Paris, was to have pronounced its verdict on Tuesday, but instead will announce the new date, the source said.

The grainy snaps of Kate Middleton wearing nothing but a black and white bikini bottom were taken while she was on holiday in September 2012 in the south of France with her husband, the second-in-line to the British throne.

They triggered a furious reaction from the royal family in Britain, where several newspapers had rejected an offer to buy the pictures.

The photographs were taken at a chateau owned by Viscount Linley, the son of Princess Margaret, the late sister of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

After appearing in the French version of celebrity magazine Closer, the photos were reproduced in several other European publications such as Chi in Italy, Ireland's Daily Star and sister magazines in Sweden and Denmark.

Prince William and Kate are seeking 1.5 million euros ($1.7 million) in damages and interest.

French authorities sided with the royal couple by banning any further reproduction of the pictures before launching a probe into how the snaps were obtained.

The editor of Closer in France, the head of the Mondadori group which owns the glossy magazine, regional newspaper La Provence's manager and one of its photographers, and two Paris-based agency photographers are all defendants in the case.

They are charged with invasion of privacy.

Earlier in September 2012, the Marseille-based La Provence had printed a picture by one of its photographers of the Duchess of Cambridge in a two-piece bathing costume at the same chateau.

For that picture, the prosecution called for suspended fines against Marc Auburtin, the then publisher of the regional daily, as well as against the photographer.

The royal couple are seeking 50,000 euros in damages and interest from La Provence–