BERLIN, April 27 A German court ordered
publisher Random House and two journalists on Thursday to pay
former Chancellor Helmut Kohl record damages of 1 million euros
($1.1 million)for violating his privacy by publishing
unauthorised quotes from hours of interviews.
"This is the highest judgment ever rendered for violations
of privacy rights under German law," the district court of
Cologne said in a statement.
Kohl, now 87 and in fragile health, had sued Random House,
his former ghost writer Heribert Schwan and co-author Tilman
Jens for publishing without his consent 116 comments made by
Kohl during interviews in 2001 and 2002 and published in an
unauthorised biography in 2014 called "Legacy: The Kohl
The court decision also affirmed an earlier decision
blocking publication of the quotes, in which Kohl - the
architect of Germany's reunification - spoke disparagingly of
public figures like current Chancellor Angela Merkel and the
late Princess Diana, as well as the World Jewish Congress.
Kohl had worked closely with Schwan, an acclaimed
journalist, and they compiled three volumes of the chancellor's
memoirs, but had a falling-out before the fourth book was
published in 2014 without Kohl's consent.
The court also ordered Schwan to provide information about
the whereabouts of over 600 hours of tape recordings he made of
conversations with Kohl while working on the memoirs.
The court said the publisher and authors could appeal the
rulings within a month.
($1 = 0.9205 euros)
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)