Mosley takes a proper spanking
(He won't enjoy this one)
FORMER Formula 1 chief Max Mosley was left licking his wounds yesterday after losing a £30,000 bid to gag the Press.The 71-year-old — furious after being caught at an S&M orgy with five prostitutes — demanded the European Court of Human Rights bring in new legislation to stop people being exposed.
He wanted media outlets to be forced to contact the subject of any investigation before a word is published so they would have time to get an injunction and stop the truth from coming out.
Mr Mosley said if "prior notification" had been required at the time of the News of the World's S&M story he would have "undoubtedly" got an injunction to halt publication and protect his private life.
But seven judges from the Strasbourg court rejected his demand saying it could have a "chilling effect" on a free Press. They ruled the right to freedom of expression would be at risk if "pre-notification" was compulsory.
And they said Mosley — who headed motor sport's governing body the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile until 2009 — had failed to find "a single jurisdiction" in Europe where papers had to contact people before writing about them.
Mr Mosley later said he would "look very seriously" at appealing to the Grand Chamber of Europe. But his court battle has already cost him £30,000 in legal fees.
He went to Strasbourg after the UK High Court awarded him £60,000 in 2008 over the News of the World's spanking story. The paper suggested the activities had "Nazi overtones" — something dismissed by the court.
Quentin Bargate, of London law firm Bargate Murray, said: "Twitter pages have been buzzing like honey bees with today's news confirming that Max Mosley has not been successful with his case.
"The question now arises whether this case represents a moment when the tide has turned against privacy and in favour of investigative journalism: will the human rights judgment speed up the demise of celebrity super injunctions, or accelerate the need for a fully formed privacy law?"