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Thales must pay Taiwan 500 million - court

Thales must pay Taiwan 500 million - court

A French court ordered defence giant Thales to pay the Taiwanese navy more than 500 million dollars on Thursday, rejecting the group's appeal against a 2010 abritration ruling.

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In April last year an arbitration panel employed by two parties to settle their differences found that the French firm had wrongly paid commissions to intermediaries to secure a huge warship contract.

Thales appealed the private panel's decision in a civil court, but on Thursday its complaint was thrown out, leaving it facing a bill of at least $591 million plus interest and legal fees.

The French defence and electronics firm signed the original contract to supply Taiwan with six Horizon-class frigates in 1991. The deal specifically excluded the payment of sweeteners to go-betweens.

Thales can still appeal the latest ruling – which was based not on a re-examination of the case itself but on the conduct of the arbitration – in France's top appeal court, the Court of Cassation.

It was not immediately clear whether it would do so.

 

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