• Germany's news in English
 

Court releases Thai prince's impounded jet

Published: 20 Jul 2011 11:29 GMT+02:00

Maha Vajiralongkorn's Boeing 737 was seized at Munich airport in southern Germany last Tuesday in a long-running commercial dispute between Thailand and the receivers of a now-insolvent German construction firm.

But the court in Landshut near Munich allowed the plane, valued at around €20 million, to be released following assurances that it was the private property of the 58-year-old heir to the throne and not that of the Thai state.

The seizure of the aircraft prompted a visit by Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya on Friday to Germany, calling the incident a "huge mistake" and meeting foreign undersecretary Cornelia Pieper to discuss the matter.

Amid fears of worsening bilateral relations, the German government has said it regretted the incident but stressed that it was powerless to act, insisting it was a matter for the courts.

The dispute goes back more than 20 years to the involvement of DYWIDAG, which merged with construction firm Walter Bau in 2001, in building a motorway link between Bangkok and Don Muang airport.

After "numerous breaches of contract by the Thai government", Walter Bau, by then insolvent, in 2007 claimed for damages.

"We have been trying for years ... to have our justified demands for more than €30 million met, and this drastic measure is basically the last resort," Walter Bau's insolvency administrator said when the plane was seized.

"The Thai government keeps playing for time and has not reacted to Schneider's demands. Even the involvement of the relevant departments of the German government proved fruitless."

AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:28 July 20, 2011 by oldMoslin
These type of contruction companies e.g Walter do a lot of illegal thing in the third world developing countries to get the contract.

They bribe the government/sheikhs etc. After that when they are in trap they do this kind of seizure like crazy people.

Why the company did not seize thai airways and other thai invetsments in germany?
16:52 July 20, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Because those assets are at least partially privately owned. Therefore, a seizure against them, would be a seizure against non-involved third parties. That would be wrong.

However, the aircraft is registered to the Kingdom of Thailand, i.e. the government itself. Which is the debtor. Hence, it was fair game.

This has been explained a couple of times already.
19:42 July 20, 2011 by TheCrownPrince
oldMoslin is a troll, don't even try.
04:17 July 21, 2011 by Kobphong Neowakul
The ruling is fair and I hopped that this matter would end soon.
08:19 July 21, 2011 by Englishted
It will be interesting to see where the money goes to?
18:02 July 21, 2011 by The-ex-pat
There is more to this story than being released. A 15 year old 737-400 has a street value of around $5 million.............................
Today's headlines
North Korea mistakenly outraged at Berlinale
Kim Jong Un has accidentally wounded his dignity while trying to stop his dignity being wounded. Photo: DPA

North Korea mistakenly outraged at Berlinale

North Korea turned harsh diplomatic language against Berlin's film festival in the mistaken belief that The Interview, the James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy about a murder plot against dictator Kim Jong Un, will be screened there. READ  

Let's officialize Muslim community: Berlin mayor
Muslims at prayer in Berlin's Sehitlik mosque. Photo: DPA

Let's officialize Muslim community: Berlin mayor

SPD party leader Raed Saleh wants to create a contract with the Muslim community similar to the one between the town hall and Christian and Jewish groups that grants them official status. READ  

Cities see slower house price growth
Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg. Photo: DPA

Cities see slower house price growth

A trend for ever-faster growth in house prices across Germany was reversed in 2014, as prices rose by four percent compared with seven the previous year 2013. READ  

Court probes abuse at Catholic boarding school
The monk at his court appearance in Munich on Thursday. Photo: DPA

Court probes abuse at Catholic boarding school

A monk and former teacher at a boarding school in the Bavarian alps pleaded not guilty on Thursday at his trial for abusing two pupils and attempted abuse of two more. READ  

'Fight harder' against corruption: activists
Bribery photo: Shutterstock

'Fight harder' against corruption: activists

Campaigners say the states can do more to fight corruption after a report showed that Brandenburg, Saarland, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg had the highest numbers of cases. READ  

Renzi woos Merkel amid Florentine splendour
Angela Merkel and Matteo Renzi speaking in Florence. Photo: DPA

Renzi woos Merkel amid Florentine splendour

The eurozone's deep divisions were set to be given an airing in Florence on Friday as Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel days before crucial elections in Greece. READ  

Merkel offers Russia free-trade agreement
Photos: DPA

Merkel offers Russia free-trade agreement

Germany would be prepared to negotiate a free-trade agreement between the European Union and Russia as a way out of the deadlocked Ukraine conflict, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday. READ  

Get more 'gigaliners' on roads: Minister
Photo: DPA

Get more 'gigaliners' on roads: Minister

Environmentalists and train companies reacted with outrage to Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt's plan to allow more giant "gigaliner" trucks on motorways before they've passed a trial period. READ  

Police arrest suspect in asylum seeker murder
Demonstrators in Dresden with photos of murder victim Khaled Idris Bahray

Police arrest suspect in asylum seeker murder

Police in Dresden have arrested a man on suspicion of killing his flatmate, an asylum seeker from Eritrea, on Monday January 12th. READ  

Meet the women fighting German tabloid sexism
Photo: DPA

Meet the women fighting German tabloid sexism

After a false dawn for campaigners against daily topless models in Britain's Sun newspaper, The Local talks to the women campaigning against sexism in Germany's biggest-selling tabloid. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,420
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd