Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said Thursday that the Thai government would not deposit a 20 million euro (over US$28 million) bank guarantee for the release of the impounded aircraft used by Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.
The foreign minister said the seized plane will remain parked at Munich Airport although the German court on Wednesday ruled that it did not belong to the Thai government and agreed to release it on condition of a bank guarantee.
The Boeing 737 passenger aircraft was seized at Munich airport in southern Germany last Tuesday following a commercial dispute dating back two decades between Thailand and a now-insolvent German construction firm which was building a motorway link between Bangkok and Don Mueang airport.
Mr Kasit explained that the court ruling is a provisional measure and that the Thai government has submitted all necessary documents indicating the Boeing 737-400 is a personal asset of the Crown Prince.
“The court asks us to post 20 million euro bank guarantee but we will not pay this as the ruling is not final and the hearing is set on the second week of August,” Mr Kasit noted. “We will fight the case with three or four witnesses.”
The foreign minister said the three witnesses include the director-general of the Department of Civil Aviation, a representative from the Royal Thai Air Force and a Thai legal expert on assets arrangement.
The plane remains at Munich Airport awaiting a final ruling in August, asserted Mr Kasit.
Mr Kasit explained that Walter Bau AG, a stockholder in the Donmueang Tollway Public Company Limited, filed a complaint against the former Thaksin administration for not allowing the firm to raise the tollway fee as agreed in the concession.
The Southern District Court of New York last year ruled in favour of Walter Bau and ordered Thailand to compensate the firm, but Thailand’s Office of the Attorney-General has appealed the ruling.
Mr Kasit said this is the matter between the Thai government and the German construction firm and a third person should not be dragged into the case.
“There is no reason for us to deposit the 20 million euro bank guarantee and (I) will inform the prime minister about this,” the foreign minister said.
Mr Kasit said that Thailand’s attorney-general, now in Munich, will arrive in Bangkok on Friday and a detailed of the case will be prepared to contest the German action