‘Media being strangled by stealth’

MAX MOSLEY yesterday said he was very pleased with the ruling.

“I am delighted with a judgment which is devastating for the News of the World.”

He added: “It demonstrates that their Nazi lie was a complete invention with no justification.

“It also shows they had no right to go into private premises and take pictures and film adults engaged in activities which are no one’s business but their own to know. I am very pleased with this result.”

News of the World editor Colin Myler said the press was now “less free” as a result of the judgment.

He said the newspaper believed that what it published in March was “legitimate and lawful” and justified in the public interest.

Mr Myler said: “As the elected head of the FIA, Mr Mosley is the leader of the richest sport in the world, with a global membership of almost 125 million.

“This newspaper has always maintained that because of his status and position he had an obligation to honour the standards which his vast membership had every right to expect of him. Taking part in depraved and brutal S&M orgies on a regular basis does not in our opinion constitute the fit and proper behaviour to be expected of someone in his influential position.”

Mr Myler said the News of the World was pleased Mr Justice Eady did not award Mr Mosley exemplary damages. “He found that the notion of such punitive awards has no place.

“It is not for the rich and the famous, the powerful and the influential, to dictate the news agenda, just because they have the money and the means to gag a free press.

“Unfortunately, our press is less free today after another judgment based on privacy laws emanating from Europe.

“English judges are left to apply those laws to individual cases here using guidance from judges in Strasbourg who are unfriendly to freedom of expression. The result is that our media are being strangled by stealth.”

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