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PM Ready to Fight for His Privacy in Court

Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen says he is ready to go to court to defend the principle of privacy. His former girlfriend Susan Ruusunen (formerly Kuronen) and her publisher Kari Ojala are being charged with violation ofprivacy for a kiss-and-tell exposé. Shortly after Vanhanen and Ruusunen ended their relationship, Ruusunen became the frequent star of tabloid articles about the romance. This culminated in the release of a book titled The Prime Minister's Bride ( Pääministerin morsian), in which she laid bare intimate details about their relationship.

Vanhanen filed a complaint against the publisher with police, who then investigated the case to see if there was cause for charges to be filed. Last week the public prosecutor announced that both the publisher and Ruusunen would be brought up on charges.

On Sunday the Prime Minister said he went to the police as a private citizen, not as the prime minister. He said it was high time to set some boundaries.

"I want to discuss the principle at stake here. Apparently some people think that the prime minister doesn't have the courage to go to court over this, and it seems that there are no limits to what is acceptable," Vanhanen said.

"Now we'll see whether these limits exist. I made the initial complaint only against the publisher, and I intend to stick with that approach in court. It's for the courts to decide."

He clarified that if he seeks damages in the case, he will only be naming the publisher as the defendant. He also added that he sees no problems with him appearing in court, since he is a citizen as well as the premier.

"I'm not going to court as the institution of the Prime Minister. In court everyone is equal."

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