A marathon court case regarding a ship charter dispute between Chinese companies Shagang Shipping and HNA Group has finally come to a close with the UK Supreme Court ruling HNA to pay $68.6m to Shagang Shipping.
Shagang Shipping first filed a lawsuit against HNA in 2012 for a dispute over a capesize charter contract, governed under UK Law, with HNA shipping unit Grand China Shipping. HNA filed its defence arguing that the contract was a result of bribery, rendering the whole deal unenforceable based on confessions made by three people during investigations by the Chinese Public Security Bureau.
However, Shagang alleged that the confession evidence was obtained by using torture and was therefore inadmissible. According to the supreme court, the judge did not have to review the torture claims as he found no evidence to prove that the alleged bribery took place.
Shagang Shipping went into liquidation in 2015 and HNA is currently under a government-led restructuring due to a debt crisis.