_The West Australian _ is fighting a bid by mining billionaire Gina Rinehart to force the newspaper to hand over documents that could expose the sources behind a series of reports on her court battle and bitter family feud with three of her children.

A subpoena served on the newspaper last week requests a copy of all letters, faxes, emails, legal advice, memorandums, text messages and other communication between _The West' _s Steve Pennells or any journalist and Mrs Rinehart's children John Hancock, Bianca Rinehart and Hope Welker.

The subpoena, which also applies to communications between Pennells and Mrs Welker's husband, Ryan, and lawyers representing the children, also demands recordings made since September 4 last year.

Mrs Rinehart is embroiled in a multibillion-dollar legal battle with the three children over a family trust set up by her late father Lang Hancock. Mrs Rinehart has the support of her youngest daughter Ginia Rinehart.

_The West _ has reported that the catalyst for the family feud was a letter Mrs Rinehart sent to her children in September telling them she planned to delay the vesting of the trust, which owns almost a quarter of Hancock Prospecting with a potential value of more than $4 billion. Details of the feud became public this month after Mrs Rinehart lost a bid to suppress the case.

_The West _ was given until yesterday to comply with the subpoena, but is challenging the demands in the Supreme Court.

The case was adjourned until next week.

The West Australian

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