Vietnam Airlines sees positive sign in ruling on €5.2 million lawsuit

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A court in Paris has made a decision in favor of the Vietnam Airlines in a long-running lawsuit brought by an Italian lawyer, the national carrier says.


The Civil Court of Paris on March 11 rejected a request filed by lawyer Maurizio Liberati, which demanded a transfer of  5.2 million euros from Vietnam Airlines to him.


The decision means the amount of 5.2 million euros that the carrier previously put into the account of the Paris Bar Association will remain untouched for now.


Vietnam Airlines said in a statement on Monday that the ruling against the money transfer request was "the first positive sign" after its lawyers presented arguments and proof showing that the case was a fraudulent one foisted by Liberati.


State-owned Vietnam Airlines signed an agreement in 1992 with Falcomar, appointing the Italian company as its ticketing agent. The Italian company hired Liberati for some legal services.


In 1994, the airline received a summons from the Rome Tribunal Court with regard to a lawsuit filed by Liberati against Falcomar and the carrier, seeking compensation of nearly $300,000 for work Liberati said he had done for Falcomar.


Vietnam Airlines did not respond to the summons as it believed it had nothing to do with the lawsuit.


Following many hearings, in a verdict made on March 2000 the Rome Tribunal Court ordered Vietnam Airlines to pay 5.2 million euros to Liberati.


Since then Vietnam Airlines has tried to have the verdict overruled. Even though the carrier has been pursuing its appeal, it was required to transfer 5.2 million euros to the Paris Bar Association account.

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