The widow of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl has achieved a new partial success in the legal battle against his ghostwriter. The author Heribert Schwan may no longer spread numerous other text passages from his book "Legacy The Kohl Protocols", published in 2014. The Cologne district court ruled on Wednesday.
In addition, Schwan must provide information about his bestseller's revenues. On the basis of this sum, Maike Kohl-Richter could possibly claim damages. In the opinion of the court, Helmut Kohl (1930-2017) assumed that Schwan would treat his statements confidentially. The witness hearing at the trial did not reveal otherwise. The verdict is not yet legally binding.
Kohl-Richter was unsuccessful with her demand to force a co-author and the publisher Random House on omission and information about their profits. These had no "contractual connection" with the former Chancellor. Personal rights of the deceased they would not have violated, it was said in the judgment.
Also Kohl-Richter's parallel to the "Spiegel" -lag raised claim for its accompanying report on the publication of the book dismissed the court for the most part. The widow therefore has only four out of 132 offending citation or information claim for injunctive relief, as the court said.
The dispute over Schwan's Kohl biography "Legacy - The Kohl Protocols" has been bothering the courts for years. The book is based on talks Schwan made with Kohl. In a previous ruling, the Cologne Higher Regional Court had already upheld the prohibition of 116 text passages in the book and criticized "a plethora of flaws and contextual distortions".