Defense Minister Lambrecht's son posted a photo on Instagram showing him in a Bundeswehr helicopter on his mother's official flight. A court ruled that the SPD politician must tell who took the photo.
Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has to answer questions from a journalist about the so-called helicopter affair after a court decision. The North Rhine-Westphalian Higher Administrative Court (OVG) rejected an appeal by the Federal Republic of Germany against an earlier decision by the Cologne Administrative Court, as an OVG spokesman confirmed on request. The decision of the court based in Münster cannot be contested. (Ref.: 15 B 1029/22)
The SPD politician was criticized for taking her 21-year-old son with her on a flight in a government helicopter to visit troops in northern Germany in mid-April. The next day she drove on to Sylt for her vacation. According to her ministry, the minister duly applied for her son's flight and paid the full cost. The flight became public because Lambrecht's son had published photos of the flight on his Instagram profile. The administrative court in Cologne decided on August 22 in the lower court that the SPD politician had to answer certain questions about the flight from a journalist. The Higher Administrative Court has now agreed.
The plaintiff journalist wanted to know how much time passed between booking the hotel on Sylt and scheduling the visit to the troops. He also wanted to know what knowledge Lambrecht had about the taking of the photo and its publication, in particular whether she had taken the photo of her son in the helicopter herself.
Lambrecht had rejected this on the grounds that it affected them as a private individual. On the question of booking a hotel, however, the court in Cologne agreed with the politician. That is her private matter. But things are different when it comes to questions about the creation and publication of the photo. Since the journey was made by helicopter, there is an official connection to the Bundeswehr.