Kirch wins skirmish against Deutsche Bank

Long-running lawsuit expected to end in early 2009

BERLIN -- Octogenarian ex-mogul Leo Kirch on Wednesday won a minor skirmish in his legal war with Germany's Deutsche Bank.

A Frankfurt court on Wednesday blocked a billion-plus recapitalization planned by Deutsche Bank until there is a final ruling on Kirch's 3.5 billion euro ($5 billion) lawsuit. Deutsche Bank is appealing the decision.

Kirch claims comments made by ex-Deutsche Bank boss Rolf Breuer directly led to the collapse of his television empire KirchMedia in 2002. The marathon lawsuit is expected to enter its final phase in January, with a decision hoped for in early 2009.