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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 November 2007, 16:05 GMT
No charges against Prince Harry
Sandringham
Two hen harriers are alleged to have been shot at Sandringham
Prince Harry will not face charges in connection with the alleged shooting of two protected hen harriers on the royal family's estate in Norfolk.

Witnesses say the birds were shot dead on the edge of the Sandringham estate.

Police officers identified three suspects - Prince Harry, William van Cutsem and David Clarke, a gamekeeper.

All three have denied any involvement and the Crown Prosecution Service says there is not enough evidence to bring the case to court.

An investigation began after the deaths of the hen harriers on the Sandringham Estate on 24 October.

A royal spokesman confirmed police spoke to Prince Harry and a friend but they had no knowledge of the incident.

Following the incident, a Clarence House spokesman said: "Because Prince Harry and a friend were both in the area at the time, the police have been in contact with them and asked them if they have any information that could help.

"Unfortunately, they had no knowledge of the alleged incident."

Bodies not found

Hen harriers are extremely rare with 749 nesting pairs in the UK.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds say they are disappointed with the outcome and described the shooting of hen harriers as an extremely serious crime.

They said a warden monitoring the harriers saw the birds being hit and heard a shot but did not see the shooter.

However, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "The bodies of the hen harriers have not been found and there is no forensic or ballistic evidence."

CPS lawyer Andrew Baxter added: "I am satisfied the police investigation has been thorough and there are no other areas of investigation which can be pursued."



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