By Jean Morgan
The injunction against The Mail on Sunday obtained by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder is valid only if the newspaper repeats allegations about him in Germany.
The MoS has been careful not to publish the issues containing two articles on the Chancellor in Germany.
The injunction, which carries a E250,000 (£164,000) penalty, arrived by e-mail at the Associated Newspapers lawyers’ department on Monday. It was in German and the newspaper was having it translated. But even with limited German knowledge, it was plain from the document that the injunction applied only in Germany.
German news agency DPA has confirmed this by quoting a woman court official saying that the injunction is valid only in Germany.
The MoS lawyers had already taken the view that because the injunction had been obtained in a German court, at which the newspaper was not represented, it would have no effect on British newspapers – the MoS ran a spread last weekend, repeating its story of SchrÅ¡der’s alleged relationship with TV presenter Sandra Maischberger and openly defying him.
Under the headline, “Sorry, Herr Schroder, but you don’t rule Britain …at least, not yet”, it mocked Schroder’s intolerance of criticism – he has already taken German newspapers to court.