The French defense company Thales has wired a court-ordered US$875 million fine into a government bank account, the Ministry of National Defense said on Tuesday.
The news came more than a year after an international commercial arbitration court in April last year ruled in favor of Taiwan in a scandal-plagued deal for Lafayette-class frigates.
Thales, a French contractor known in the 1990s as Thomson-CSF, sold six Lafayette frigates to Taiwan in 1991, but in the process paid unauthorized commissions in violation of the contract.
The US$875 million includes a fine, interest, litigation fees and other related expenses that have built up during more than 10 years of legal wrangling between the two countries, according to a ministry press release.
Ministry spokesman Lo Shao-ho (羅紹和) said the money, which is now in an account controlled by the ministry, would soon be transferred to the state treasury.
Lo said the “commercial dispute” would not affect military cooperation between France and Taiwan.
However, he declined to provide details on what that cooperation entails, saying that “the lack of diplomatic relations makes disclosure inappropriate.”
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