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Case of Thai prince's impounded Boeing 737 on hold until Monday

Other News Materials 16 July 2011 18:10
The fate of an impounded Boeing 737 belonging to Thailand's Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and being held at Munich airport in a row over payments will be decided by a court next week,
Case of Thai prince's impounded Boeing 737 on hold until Monday

The fate of an impounded Boeing 737 belonging to Thailand's Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and being held at Munich airport in a row over payments will be decided by a court next week, according to the Thai prime minister on Saturday.

An insolvent German building company, Walter Bau, earlier seized the plane to back up its commercial claims against Bangkok. The German government said it had repeatedly urged Thailand to pay the bill, DPA reported.

A German court will decide Monday on whether to release the plane Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said. On Friday a judge turned down an application for an urgent injunction to release the plane.

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya visited Berlin Friday evening to complain in person.

The German Foreign Ministry said it regretted the "inconvenience" suffered by the prince, but urged Bangkok to finally pay the company, Walter Bau GmbH, which is in insolvency administration.

Bangkok insists the jet is the prince's private property, not the government's, and cannot be seized in legal action against the state.

The Royal Thai Air Force said Saturday it officially gave the Boeing to the prince in 2008 as a present.

The prince, who often pilots the Boeing 737 himself, is a frequent visitor to Munich.

In the 1990s, Walter Bau was part of a joint venture to construct a toll road near Bangkok. A row followed over the tolls to be levied, as a result of which the German construction company said contractual obligations were not being met.

After years of negotiations, an international tribunal in Geneva awarded Walter Bau 42 million dollars in compensation, an award the Thai government rejected.

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