Der Spiegel have announced that they have won an appeal against a 2017 court ruling which forbade them from reporting on the tax issues of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho and Mesut Ozil during the trio's time at Real Madrid.
The injunction, which was issued by a court in Hamburg, meant that Der Spiegel risked a €250,000 ($280,000) fine if they reported on a series of tax issues experienced by the then-Real Madrid trio. In addition, they were forced to delete a December 2016 report from their website and were told to not report on the issue in any further form.
This followed a complaint from Spanish law firm Senn Ferrero, who counted Ronaldo, Mourinho and Ozil among its clients. A Berlin-based law firm was hired to take the case in the German court system.
Der Spiegel argued that the injunction was imposed on them without affording them the possibility to challenge it, also arguing that the complainants never denied the reporting – instead criticizing the methods used to obtain the information.
The magazine stated that their source maintained that the information was not received via a 'hack', or theft of any kind, and that the information was in the public interest.
They stated that so long as their reporters didn't obtain the information illegally, or persuade others to do so on their behalf, their reportage was protected by German media law.