Strasbourg (France) (AFP) - Europe's top rights court ruled Thursday that French magazine Paris Match was wrongly convicted in 2005 for revealing Monaco's Prince Albert II had a love child with a stewardess.
A court near Paris found in June 2005 that the prince's right to privacy had been violated by the 10-page spread, and sentenced the weekly to 50,000 euros in damages ($60,000 at the time) and also asked Paris Match and its owner Hachette Filipacchi to pay 4,000 euros in court costs.
A month later, Prince Albert admitted that he was the father of a baby boy born out of wedlock to French-Togolese flight attendant Nicole Coste.
The Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights ruled that the judgement "breached the magazine's freedom of expression."
"The court found that the public had a legitimate interest in knowing of the child's existence and being able to conduct a debate on the possible implications for political life in the principality of Monaco," it said.
"The court concluded that, in disclosing the information, (Coste) had sought to secure public recognition of her son's status and of the fact that the prince was his father, which were crucial factors in ending the secrecy surrounding him."
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