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Schumacher wins Sh6.7mn in damages over walking claim

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German F1 driver Michael Schumacher, pictured in 1996 © AFP/File / Eric CABANIS

BERLIN, Germany, May 5The German magazine Bunte was ordered Friday to pay Sh6.7mn in damages plus legal fees to Michael Schumacher for claiming the former five-time Formula One world champion could walk again.

In December 2015, two years after Schumacher sustained serious head injuries on a skiing holiday, Bunte ran the headline “It’s more than a Christmas miracle — Michael Schumacher can walk again”.

But the media chamber of Hamburg’s regional court found the article infringed Schumacher’s privacy and ordered the magazine to pay compensation plus 65 percent of his legal costs.

“The chamber assumes that this statement is false,” said court judge Simone Kaefer.

The verdict was based on the fact Schumacher cannot currently walk and thus could not have done so at the time the article was printed.

Schumacher’s family had sought damages of 100,000 euros but the court, in mitigation, determined that the magazine had researched and sourced the article.

Schumacher has not appeared in public since a skiing accident in December 2013 left him in a coma, from which he later emerged.

His family has given few details on his current state of health. He is being treated at their home near Geneva.

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