Historic Iraq-UK flight hit by legal dispute
Published 01/05/2010 | 05:00
THE first flight from Baghdad to London in 20 years has ended in farce, with the plane impounded at Gatwick airport after Kuwait went to the British High Court demanding $1.2bn (€900m) for planes stolen by Saddam Hussein.
A two-decades-old lawsuit over the theft of 10 planes owned by Kuwait at the time of the 1990 invasion by Iraq, resulted in the detention of the aircraft and the confiscation of the passport of Iraqi Airways' chief executive, Kifah Hassan.
Chris Gooding for Kuwait Airways said the airline's patience "has run out".
He said: "To fly into this jurisdiction where they owe $1.2bn was innocent at best and arrogant at worst."
The Baghdad ministry of transport was surprised by the "provocative behaviour taken by the Kuwaiti authorities, insisting on harassing and embarrassing Iraqis wherever they attempt to open a window to the outside world". (© Daily Telegraph, London)