Court Rules Against French Company Receiving €452 Million From Libya

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On Tuesday, the Paris Court of Appeal annulled a €452 million compensation issued to a French company, Sorelec, following a dispute stemming from a school construction contract in which compensation claims were allegedly based on a corruptly procured settlement.

The dispute related to a 1970s contract with Libya’s Ministry of Education to construct schools, housing units and building annexes. The parties fell into dispute in 1985.

“Libya has presented serious, accurate and consistent circumstantial evidence that the settlement agreement concluded by the Tobruk authorities is unlawful and tainted with corruption,” the court said.

The court concluded that Libya’s representative in the settlement negotiations had colluded with the French corporation. The court found that the partial verdict was contrary to the “French conception of international public order,” and that the later-issued final rule also had to be nixed as a result.