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Czech News in English » News » National » Health minister declares new victory in Diag Human arbitration battle

Health minister declares new victory in Diag Human arbitration battle

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Prague, Nov 12 (CTK) – The Czech Republic has won another dispute with the Diag Human firm, Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek said yesterday, adding that a Dutch court has upheld Prague´s position on the recognition of an arbitration verdict that bound it to pay 8.33 billion crowns in compensation to Diag Human.
Like other foreign courts in the past, the Commerce Court in Amsterdam has confirmed that the arbitration verdict from 2008 is void, without any legal effect, Nemecek (Social Democrats, CSSD) announced in a press release.
Diag Human said it will appeal the decision, its lawyer Jan Kalvoda said in reaction to Nemecek.
Diag Human was for many years in a court dispute with the Czech state which it blamed for having thwarted its potentially lucrative trade in blood plasma. It demanded a compensation worth billions of crowns.
Since 2014, the state has insisted on having definitively won the arbitration proceedings.
Diag Human disagrees with this. It has conducted several court proceedings against the Czech Republic abroad since 2011, claiming the implementation of what it calls a valid arbitration verdict from 2008. In this series of disputes, Prague´s position has been upheld by courts in Austria, France, Switzerland and Britain, and by the U.S. Federal Court in Washington so far.
“This is another of many victories of the Czech Republic. This verdict, too, proves that the Czech Health Ministry and the lawyers representing Prague abroad acted correctly…. It confirms that the Czech Republic should not pay a single crown to this firm,” Nemecek said, commenting on the Dutch court ruling.
Although the arbitration verdict in 2008 bound Prague to pay billions of crowns to Diag Human, an appellate panel issued a resolution halting the arbitration last year.
The Czech Republic interprets the resolution as saying that the dispute was solved in 2002 already, when the state paid 326 million crowns to Diag Human as compensation for harming its good name. As a result, all following verdicts within the case, including the 2008 ruling, have no legal effects, according to Prague.
“The Dutch court said the previous proceedings proved that the Czech Republic had duly applied for a review of the 2008 arbitration verdict…and that the appellate arbitrators decided that the verdict from 2002 is not a partial decision but a definitive one,” Nemecek wrote, adding that the court has fully upheld the Czech Republic´s position.
The Amsterdam court ordered Diag Human to cover the court expenses worth 9,755 euros, Nemecek added.
According to Kalvoda, the Amsterdam court has only issued a preliminary decision which shows that it is not definitively convinced about whether the 2008 verdict is binding.
“The proceedings will continue before the appellate court based on new and complementary pieces of evidence,” Kalvoda said.
He said further proceedings over the recognition of the 2008 verdict are underway in Luxembourg, Belgium and the USA.
Kalvoda also spoke about an excessive remuneration the ministry plans to pay to the appellate arbitrators. It raises “justified apprehension” that the ministry is unlawfully trying to make the arbitrators support the state´s position in a distraint proceeding that Diag Human has initiated against it in Luxembourg, Kalvoda said.
($1=25.218 crowns)

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