FRANKFURT, July 20 A German court on Wednesday
ruled Thailand's Crown prince would have to pay a 20 million
euro deposit ($28.40 million) for the return of his plane,
impounded during a long running commercial dispute.
German insolvency officials seized the Boeing 737
last week to force the Thai government to repay a debt linked to
a Bangkok road construction project.
The Thai government called the seizure "a great mistake",
and sent a delegation to Berlin to explain the jet belonged to
the prince, not the government.
The Landshut court in Bavaria said in a statement on
Wednesday the 20 million figure was based on the estimated value
of the plane.
It said a deposit was necessary as it had not yet decided on
the ownership of the plane.
Insolvency administrators have been trying to retrieve 30
million euros from the Thai government on behalf of a defunct
German construction company.
The dispute goes back more than 20 years to when German
company Dywidag helped build a 26 km (15 mile) toll road to Don
Muang airport, formerly Bangkok's main international airport.
The administrators said the Thai government repeatedly broke
the contract and that an arbitration court had established in
2009 the validity of the claim from Walter Bau, which merged
A spokesman for the Thai foreign ministry said last week
Walter Bau's case against the Thai government had not reached
its final conclusion as its lawyers were still in the process of
appealing in a court in New York.
(Reporting by Jens Hack and Victoria Bryan)