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Belgium takes Swiss dispute to The Hague

Belgium has launched a case against Switzerland at the International Court of Justice in a dispute over the 2001 bankruptcy of the former Belgian airline Sabena.

The Belgian government and other Sabena shareholders are appealing for money from the now-defunct Swissair Group, which they say caused the bankruptcy by missing a major payment to Sabena.

The airline's shareholders sued over the matter in Belgian court and Brussels argues Switzerland failed to enforce Belgian civil court rulings.

In the case taken to the international court, Belgium says Switzerland is bound under the 1988 Lugano international convention to respect Belgian court rulings.

Sabena went bust with the loss of 12,000 jobs. Swissair Group owned a 49.5 per cent stake in the airline. and agencies