The judge in a privacy trial brought by Prince Harry and other celebrities has questioned why some figures, including Piers Morgan, have not been called to give evidence.
Ahead of closing submissions in the case, Mr Justice Fancourt said he had “a question in my mind” about whether several people “could and should have given some evidence”.
As it is a civil case, each side is able to choose which witnesses to rely on when making their case.
MGN has called on a select number of journalists, but detailed evidence has been heard about many others who have not appeared in court.
The judge listed out more than two dozen names, including former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, “in no particular order”.
Mr Justice Fancourt added that Mr Morgan and former editor of The People newspaper Neil Wallis “relatively recently had a lot to say about this matter outside of court”.
He also said that questions had been raised about why “three or four associates of the Duke of Sussex” had not given evidence.
Harry, the Duke of Sussex, is one of four public figures whose allegations against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) have been heard at the High Court trial, representing more than 100 claimants.
The other three are Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, Hollyoaks actress Nikki Sanderson, and Fiona Wightman, the ex-wife of comedian Paul Whitehouse.
The group are suing MGN for damages, claiming that journalists at its titles were linked to surveillance tactics such as “blagging” (gaining information by deception), and use of private investigators for unlawful activities.
Harry’s barrister, David Sherborne, previously claimed that illegal activity had been approved by executives, including MGN’s legal department, and Mr Morgan, who was the editor of the Mirror from 1995 to 2004.
Mr Morgan has repeatedly denied knowledge of phone hacking or any other illegal activity at the paper.
In a recent BBC interview, he said: “To be clear, originally I said I’ve never hacked a phone. I’ve never told anyone to hack a phone. And no story’s ever been published in the Mirror in my time from hacking a phone.”
The judge highlighted a recent interview by the former newspaper executive, Neil Wallis, who recently criticised those bringing cases against newspapers in a BBC documentary.
Appearing in Scandalous: Phone Hacking On Trial, he said: “You have just about anybody who’s ever appeared in a tabloid newspaper saying – give me large wadges of cash please. I think it’s actually a legal scandal.”
Next week, the two leading barristers will make closing submissions to the judge, outlining their arguments. Mr Justice Fancourt will then weigh up whether the allegations are proven on the balance of probabilities – a lesser standard of proof to that required in a criminal trial.
The trial is due to conclude at the end of the month, with a ruling expected at a later date.
Tuesday saw the final day of evidence, as Mr Le Vell, who is bringing the legal action under his real name Michael Turner, finished his time in the witness box.
The 58-year-old, who plays Kevin Webster in the long-running soap, is suing MGN for damages over alleged unlawful information-gathering between 1991 and 2011.
Asked by his barrister Mr Sherborne how the process had felt, Mr Le Vell replied: “It’s been one of the most distressing… this took about five years off my life.
“It’s been emotional, and it has made me go to somewhere I never thought I would go again – those really dark places – but sometimes you have got to stick up for yourself and this is the time to do that.”