European court to rule Tuesday on Mosley case

9th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Europe's human rights court will release its ruling Tuesday on whether British law failed to protect Max Mosley who was accused by a newspaper of participating in a Nazi-themed orgy.

The former world motor sport chief has already won a case in a British court against the News of the World tabloid that published a front page story entitled "F1 boss has sick Nazi orgy with 5 hookers."

Mosley, who acknowledged paying five women for sex, said the event depicted in the paper was a prison fantasy and challenged the claim that the episode was Nazi-themed.

He won 60,000 pounds (69,000 euros, $97,000) in damages from the News Group Newspapers chain, which owns the News of the World.

He subsequently filed a case in the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights arguing that British law failed to protect his private life.

Mosley, 70, is seeking a change in the law that would compel publishers to warn individuals before publishing material about their private lives, giving them an opportunity to seek court orders protecting their privacy.

Published in March 2008, the British tabloid story labelled Mosley "a sadomasochistic sex pervert" and posted a video of the episode on its website, secretly recorded by one of the participants.

The video was viewed 1.4 million times.

"Where somebody's privacy is going to be breached, he should have an opportunity to go before a court rather than the decision simply by a newspaper, whether their privacy is destroyed or not," Mosley said after the January hearing.

The ruling will be posted on the court's website at 0800 GMT and is subject to appeal for three months.

It comes amid growing media anger in Britain at privacy orders being granted by courts to celebrities which bar mention that the so-called super-injunctions even exist, let alone to whom they have been granted.

Prime Minister David Cameron said last month that he felt "uneasy" about some of the injunctions.

Cameron said judges were using human rights legislation "to deliver a sort of privacy law" and added that it should be up to parliament to decide on the balance between press freedom and privacy.

© 2011 AFP

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