Lensman who took topless Kate pics identified, to be arrested

Lensman who took topless Kate pics identified, to be arrested

A paparazzi photographer who took topless pictures of British royal Kate Middleton has been identified and is set to be arrested by French police, a media report has said.

French judicial police are preparing to arrest the paparazzi linked to topless photographs of the 30-year-old Duchess of Cambridge, the Daily Mail reported.

It has also been confirmed that the name of the photographer has been handed over to detectives investigating the alleged crime.

Marie-Christine Daubigney, the French public prosecutor dealing with the case, confirmed that police were now aware of the name of the person who took the topless pictures, saying: "This new information regarding the photographer will be passed on to investigating magistrates."

The snaps were clicked in September at Chateau d'Autet, a holiday retreat in Provence owned by the Queen's nephew, Viscount Linley.

Prince William and Kate were said to be "devastated" after hundreds of intimate snaps were taken while they were holidaying at the resort.

They were first published in French Closer magazine, and then in numerous other countries, including Italy and Ireland.

William called for the photographer responsible to be jailed, a possibility which is technically possible due to France's strict privacy laws.

The judicial police, who have been investigating the matter following the issuing of a court order in Paris, can hold an alleged criminal under suspicion of an offence.

If anyone is charged and found guilty of taking the pictures they could be jailed for up to one year and fined 36,000 pounds for breach of privacy.

"A name has been offered," a source close to the case confirmed. "The photographer is expected to be held for and questioned imminently," the source added.

Laurence Pieau, the woman editor of French Closer, hired a freelance photographer to watch the couple during their holiday at Chateau d'Autet, but refused to name the person.

Pieau accused William and Kate of over-reacting to the pictures, saying: "I can imagine that these photographs displease them, but once again these photographs are not degrading, they are joyous, they are in love, she is very pretty."

Under French law, photographers are viewed as journalistic contacts and are accordingly protected from identification.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox