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Defense ministry suing France over Mirage kickbacks (Taiwan)
Taipei Times ^ | Thu, Aug 10, 2017 | Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin

Posted on 08/10/2017 9:29:19 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

The Ministry of National Defense is suing the French government for alleged kickbacks paid to French officials for the purchase of Dassault Mirage 2000 fighters between 1992 and 1997, an official said.

The ministry has acquired the services of an elite French legal firm for one year for the suit, costing NT$177 million (US$5.86 million), a senior official who has knowledge of the matter said.

The France-based legal firm is to represent Taiwan until July 23 next year, but the ministry is to continue the case if the court of arbitration does not reach a verdict by July next year, said the official who requested anonymity.

The ministry believes the legal fees are justified, as the court ruled in a former case that France is to repay US$875 million for bribes paid to its officials for selling six Lafayette-class frigates, the official said.

The French-made frigates cost Taiwan NT$78 billion, less than half the NT$160 billion paid for 60 Mirage 2000 jets, the official said.

“Although the two cases are not comparable, if it is proven that there were kickbacks paid for the fighters, we will likely demand repayments that are greater than the compensation we are to receive for the Lafayette-class frigates,” the official said.

Following the legal victory in the Lafayette case, the ministry in 2012 sued for compensation over bribes that were allegedly paid for Mirage 2000 fighters, the official said.

It took four years for the case to clear preliminary legal procedures, which is now to be heard at the court of arbitration, the official added.

The air force is to send a legal team of 12 people to France to be involved in the proceedings, the official said.

The French government was upset by the case brought by the Mirage 2000 scandal, which has affected its commitment to provide technical support for the fighters, another anonymous source said.

The dispute had a negative effect on the fighters’ maintenance, spare parts supply and the life-extension program for their missiles, the source said.

However, the French government has continued hosting training for Taiwanese pilots, a program that began in November last year and is to continue until October next year, in addition to sending instructors to Taiwan for advanced tactical training, the source said.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; france; mirage2000; taiwan

1 posted on 08/10/2017 9:29:19 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I’m confused. Who paid the bribes to whom and why? Did the Taiwanese pay the bribes? Why are French services to Taiwan being effected?

2 posted on 08/11/2017 1:18:42 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: Gen.Blather

Taiwan alleges they paid bribes to French officials, presumably to approve the sale, and French services to Taiwan are being affected because apparently France doesn’t appreciate being sued over a 25 year old bribery accusation.

3 posted on 08/11/2017 2:09:23 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: Yo-Yo

Thank you.

4 posted on 08/11/2017 2:33:01 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Taiwan would be better served by purchasing new French equipment, even if bribes were necessary

5 posted on 08/13/2017 7:57:34 PM PDT by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: rmlew

The value of any deal for Taiwan is far outweighed by the commercial opportunities that Dassault, Airbus, Alstom et al see in China.

Taiwan had a tech transfer opportunity in the 1990s but didn’t make full use of it.

6 posted on 08/13/2017 9:02:57 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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