(Adds details from court spokeswoman, PIX tag for media
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 allegedly
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 was quoted
speaking disparagingly of public figures such as current
Chancellor Angela Merkel and the late Princess Diana, as well as
the World Jewish Congress.
Kohl, the architect of German reunification, did not appear
during Thursday's court session, but the defendants were
present, a spokeswoman for the court said.
She said the judge, in explaining his decision, said that
some of the alleged quotations could not be found in transcripts
of the interviews that were provided by the defendants, while
others had been taken out of context.
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)