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Austria's security council meets to discuss case against Airbus

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Austria's security council meets to discuss case against Airbus
Photo: Austrian Armed Forces
11:05 CET+01:00
Austria's national security council is meeting on Tuesday to discuss the latest developments in the Eurofighter case.

The discussions are being held under strict rules of confidentiality. Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil will present members of all parliamentary parties with the details of legal proceedings over allegations of fraud against the Eurofighter manufacturer Airbus.

Austria plans to sue Airbus over a $2-billion sale of Eurofighter jets that has long been plagued by allegations of kickbacks.

A government probe concluded that the Airbus and Eurofigher consortium had "deliberately misled the Austrian Republic on the real price, delivery capabilities and its equipment" of the deal signed in 2003.

Austria is seeking damages of up to €1.1 billion ($1.16 million) for its largest-ever defence deal, worth around €2 billion ($2.1 billion).

According to Austria's "Task Force Eurojet" report, Eurofighter knew that it would not be able to meet the delivery deadline of the 15 planes. The five-year-investigation also found that Austria had been overcharged for costs that allegedly included backhanders.

The right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) has said it will decide if it supports a Green Party initiative for a new parliamentary investigative committee on the Eurofighter purchase, depending on what is revealed about Austria's case against Airbus at Tuesday's security council.

Meanwhile, FPÖ leader Heinz Christian-Strache has dismissed speculation published in the Krone newspaper that he's reluctant to support a new investigation because of his own previous business links with a company involved with the Eurofighter deal.

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