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Max Mosley raises the stakes over invasion of privacy
It is already shaping up to be one of the most sensitive court cases of 2009, opening up a close-to-the-bone debate about the use in Germany of Nazi or wartime symbols.

The case is part of the world motor-sport boss Max Mosley’s campaign to set the record straight on a secretly filmed sadomasochistic sex session that – in video footage and still photographs shown in Germany as well as Britain – depicts him being beaten by women in uniform. The president of the FIA, the body that oversees Formula One racing, was awarded £60,000 by a High Court judge in summer for breach of privacy by the News of the World.

The hearing in Germany, pitting Mr. Mosley against the mass-circulation Bild and its online offshoot, is to be held early next year and is already provoking discussion about the limits to privacy.

At the heart of the case against the News of the World – part of News Group Newspapers, which also owns The Times –was the question of whether Mr. Mosley’s session was a “Nazi orgy”, possibly justifying an intrusion into the intimate life of the FIA president, or whether it was just a conventional sadomasochistic encounter.

In the High Court, Mr. Justice Eady ruled against a Nazi interpretation of the sex session.

Now it is Germany’s turn to consider the matter and whatever the verdict it seems set to open a can of worms.

“The English argument does not convince me at all,” said Jan Hegemann, the press law specialist who will be representing the Springer group newspapers.

“Mr. Justice Eady went through the images, point by point. For example, SS uniforms were not worn – they were modern Luftwaffe uniforms, so they could not possibly have been Nazi.”  More at the London Times

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