Austria court dismisses complaint against Airbus

By: AFP      Published: 02:18 AM, 28 Apr, 2020
Austria court dismisses complaint against Airbus

An Austrian court has dismissed a government complaint against European aircraft manufacturer Airbus as part of a probe into alleged corruption and fraud in a 2003 Eurofighter jet contract. 

A Vienna criminal court found no basis for prosecution in the charges filed in February 2017 by Austria's ministry of defence, a court spokesman told AFP on Monday, confirming press reports.

Austria had claimed damages, estimated for at least 183.4 million euros ($200 million), claiming it was deceived on the delivery capacities, the equipment and the real value of 18 Eurofighter combat aircraft it acquired. 

The 2017 complaint was strongly rejected by Airbus, which was also entangled in several other legal cases around the world. 

The Austrian government's legal services chief said Monday that he intended to appeal the ruling. 

Part of the Austrian case remains under investigation by the national anti-corruption prosecutor's office, which is investigating around 60 people involved in the procurement.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is a major prestige product for the European defence industry, with hundreds of aircraft delivered to Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain, as well as to Austria and Saudi Arabia.

The four founding nations in the consortium -- Germany, Spain, Britain and Italy -– all use the planes in their own air forces. Other contracts have been signed with Oman and Kuwait.