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French Court decides in Arabsat’s favour

June 18, 2019

By Chris Forrester

It seems that the Media Relations team at beIN Sport were a little quick with their claim of victory in their dispute with Arabsat. The ‘victory’ was widely publicised over the past weekend.

Setting aside the obvious merits of Qatar-based beIN claim against the Saudi beoutQ pirates, it is now clear that the French Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris court last week wholly rejected Qatari-owned beIN’s allegations against Arabsat.

In a 12-page verdict, not only did the Tribunal reject the beIN claims but the Court ordered that fines be paid by beIN and that they pay €25,000 of Arabsat’s costs.

The beIN allegations originally sought to link Arabsat to beoutQ and accused it of broadcasting the pirate’s signals.

Interviewed on the Al Arabiya news channel, Louis de Galle, an expert in international law and who represented Arabsat in the litigation, expressed surprise at hearing the statement from the Qatari media group. “In France we are not accustomed to seeing a person lie in such a way and say quite the opposite of what a court judgment says,” he said.

Now it appears that Arabsat can, if it wishes, sue beIN.

de Galle added: “The decision of the court confirms that the beoutQ programmes were transmitted via the Internet and not the Arabsat satellite,” de Galle said. “There is no ambiguity in the court judgment rendered [June 13]. I can confirm and reiterate that the court decision rejected BeIN Sports claims and confirmed that Arabsat had not broadcast the programmes alleged by BeIN SPORTS,” said de Galle.

Also involved in the writ was Arabsat’s French representative, Bertrand Persehaye, who suffered heavily during the pre-trial process. He has worked for Arabsat as a consultant since 2005 and also received a compensation award from the Tribunal.

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