BANGKOK, July 20 — A German court on Wednesday ruled that the impounded aircraft used by Thailand’s Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn does not belong to the Thai government and agreed to release it on condition that a 20 million euro (over US$28 million) bank guarantee must be deposited, according to Foreign Ministry’s Information Department deputy director-general Jesda Katavetin.
The Boeing 737 passenger aircraft was seized at Munich airport in southern Germany last Tuesday in a long-running commercial dispute between Thailand and a now-insolvent German construction firm which was building a motorway link between Bangkok and Don Mueang airport.
Mr Jesda said that the court initially believed that the Thai-registered airplane was not connected to the Thai government and needed to post a bond before the aircraft could leave and be taken back to Thailand.
He said the Thai legal team was working on the details of the ruling and could not reveal the details at the moment, but the ruling could be considered as a successful crucial step for the lawyers.
International media reported that the Landshut state court ruling Wednesday was based on an assurance from Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation and the plane’s certificate of registration which both affirmed that the Thai government did not own the plane but that it belongs to the Crown Prince.
But the court said its decision was only preliminary so a bond was requires and 20 million euros (US$28.2 million) must be deposited as a bank guarantee. When the court finally establishes that the aircraft does belong to the Crown Prince, it will return the bond.