OCTOBER 18, 2009

Briatore says he will sue FIA

Flavio Briatore says that tomorrow he will commence proceedings in the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance (High Court) challenging the decision announced by the FIA World Motor Sport Council on 21st September 2009.

The principal grounds for this action are:

The FIA's deliberate breach of the rights of the defence FIA including

- the delay in the issue of the summons;

- the failure to state the charges in advance;

- the lack of access provided to prosecution documents and to the key witness;

Breach of the rules of natural justice including

- the lack of impartiality of the body passing judgment;

- the secret negotiation of the decision content before the hearing; and

- the granting of selective immunities in order to build the prosecution's case;

The FIA's manifest excess and abuse of power including

- the penalty imposed on a non-licensee of the FIA;

- the disproportionate and illegal nature of an indefinite boycott decision; and

- the threat to refuse to renew the FIA licence in breach of the Federation's regulations and of the International Sporting Code.

Flavio Briatore intends to obtain an Order from the Court quashing the FIA's decision insofar as it relates to him, together with an Order, subject to a penalty for non-compliance, requiring the Federation to withdraw any penalty imposed on him. He is also seeking damages and official publication of the court's decision.

Flavio Briatore commented that "In this case, the FIA has been used as a tool to exact vengeance on behalf of one man. This decision is a legal absurdity and I have every confidence that the French courts will resolve the matter justly and impartially".

It will be interesting to see the FIA's reaction. A complaint to the police in Singapore alleging fraud might be a suitable response, but it remains to be seen what the FIA will do.