Johannes Heesters loses trial at the Berlin Court of Appeal

The Civil Chamber 27 of the Berlin Appellate Court (KG Berlin) has dismissed the action brought by actor Johannes Heesters against journalist and book author Volker Kühn for the injunction and retraction of various statements about an appearance by the artist in front of the SS guards at the Dachau concentration camp on 21 May 1941. The offending sentences were taken from an interview Volker Kühn gave to a Dutch newspaper in February 2008.

According to the court, the actor had not proven that the journalist's statements were untrue as far as they concerned facts. However, this proof would be a prerequisite for an enforceable claim for injunctive relief or revocation. As far as the impugned passages of the interview were expressions of opinion, the limit of inadmissible defamatory criticism was not exceeded. The journalist had complied with the duties of care required in the context of journalistic research.

An appeal against the judgement (Gesch-Nr.: 27 O 799/08) is possible to the Kammergericht.

Press release no. 52/2008 of the KG Berlin of 16.12.2008

Goldberg Attorneys at Law

Attorney at Law Michael Ullrich, LL.M. (Information Law)