Caroline of Monaco’s Lawyers Appeal (again) for her Privacy

  October 17, 2010 at 7:28 am by

Princess Caroline of Monaco’s lawyer, Mattias Prinz, on Wednesday, 13 October, addressed the European Court of Human Rights in Strausbourg, France. His issue was the failure of the German constitutional courts to accept the 2004 landmark decision by the ECHR that upheld his royal client’s right to privacy in accordance with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. He said that, even to this day, while Caroline’s privacy is pretty well assured in France and Monaco, where the laws greatly favor the integrity of private life for everyone, celebrity or not, there is no such assurance in Germany.

Case in point: In 2005, around the time of the late Prince Rainier’s fatal illness, the magazines Frau im Spiegel and Frau Aktuell republished paparazzi photos of Caroline and her now-estranged husband, the Prince of Hannover, skiing in St. Moritz. The pictures were dated from the years 2002 through 2004, but the articles that accompanied the republished pictures (in 2005) implied that Caroline and Ernst were skiing in the Swiss Alps resort during her father’s hospitalization for cardiac failure. The case was decided in a German Constitutional Court in 2008. The Court said that both the pictures and their recirculation were appropriate because the subjects of the pictures were of “legitimate public interest.”

On Wednesday this week, Prinz petitioned for the ECHR to review the German court’s 2008 decision. The panel of seventeen judges are expected to decide the appeal in several months.

This report originates from AFP, but there was an additional report in the ¡Hola! online magazine. It said that in August and September of this year, the German magazines Bild-Zeitung and Bunte published photos of Princess Caroline and her family on their summer cruise. Bunte, in particular, reported on a supposedly fresh love interest of Princess Caroline. The article actually named Gérard Faggionato as her alleged lover. The publisher of Bild Zeitung, Axel Springer, testified, after Prinz, before the ECHR judges on Wednesday. The lawyer representing the German government, Christian Walter, argued in support of the two magazines in the case, insisting that the pictures did not constitute “sensationalism.” Walter also repeated the old arguments that Caroline is a person of “legitimate public interest” and that the photos showed Caroline and her family in the open air. This case, like the 2005 case, is expected to be decided by the seventeen judges of the ECHR in several months.

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