Vietnam Airlines expects justice in Italy suit

Vietnam Airlines has a strong case against the lawsuit filed by a former Italian lawyer representing the company’s former agent in Italy, Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyen Van Nam has said.

The ambassador, in an interview with a Vietnam News Agency correspondent, made the comment about the upcoming trial that will take place at the Rome Tribunal Court on April 2 at the airline’s request for a cancellation of an order that the airline pay damages of up to 5 million EUR.

Maurizio Liberati, the lawyer bringing the suit against the airline, claims that he provided professional services to Vietnam Airlines, pursuant with his agreement with Falcomar. When Liberati was sacked by Falcomar, he took both the agent and Vietnam Airlines to court. 

According to Vietnam Airlines, based on its agreement with Falcomar, the airline has no responsibility to any third party, and therefore Liberati’s complaint requesting the airline pay him for the work he did for Falcomar is invalid and unreasonable.

Ambassador Nam said the case has been prolonged for years, partly due to differences between the legal systems of Italy and Vietnam, and has become more complicated due to Liberati’s set-up plot.

Based on evidence and documents collected by the defendant, Vietnam Airlines claims that it discovered Liberati and Falcomar’s attorney were engaged in a plot to scam the airline out of money.

Liberati had only sent the Rome Tribunal Court’s Verdict asking Vietnam Airlines to pay 5 million EUR to the Italian Embassy in Vietnam, rather than the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy. Thus, the airline was only informed of the verdict after the deadline for an appeal had passed.

Liberati also filed a claim against the airline in a French court, as Vietnam Airlines also has a bank account and representative office in France as well.

Liberati’s actions suggest that he ignored the ethics of his profession, engaging in a calculated plot to harm Vietnam Airline’s financial health and prestige, said Ambassador Nam.

The diplomat said that in the early stages of the lawsuit, Vietnam Airlines had no knowledge or experience in international law, because the country was not yet fully engaged in the global integration process. Acknowledging the case’s seriousness and potential aftermath, Vietnam Airlines has decided to hire Italian lawyers from Guerreri to protect its legitimate rights and interests.

Ambassador Nam said the Rome Court’s verdict that Vietnam Airlines pay the compensation was unreasonable and inappropriate.

According to him, if Vietnam Airline’s evidence of a plot to scam the airline is valid, the Rome Court, in its final hearing on April 2, must accept the Airline’s request that the case be dismissed.

However, the ambassador said Liberati will continue to lodge his appeal in higher courts, and that the case is likely to last for many more years.

As for the lawsuit’s impact on cooperation between Italy’s Alitalia and Vietnam Airlines, Ambassador Nam said that if the lawsuit ends badly for the Vietnamese side, it will be a major financial loss for the company, but would not harm its current interests or activities in Italy and the rest of the Europe.

The Ambassador also stressed that the case is a good lesson for Vietnam in its integration process, which requires businesses to pay attention not only to quality and competitiveness, but also international law.

Source: VNA

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