Court Throws Out Billion Shekel Light Rail Lawsuit

YERUSHALAYIM -
The light rail seen passing near a mosque in the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat in northern Yerushalayim. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
The light rail in northern Yerushalayim. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

A petition by the Alstom and CAF companies against a tender rendered by the city of Tel Aviv for the supply of cars for the city’s light rail system was thrown out by the Tel Aviv District Court. The court decided that the city had not tailored the NIS 1 billion tender to enable China’s CNR to win it. CNR was declared winner of the tender six months ago.

According to the court, the plaintiffs “presented serious complaints that were not based on evidence, and there was no attempt of any kind to present such evidence. There was an attempt by the plaintiffs to create the impression that an atmosphere of corruption prevailed, and this was not the case. The rumors of such corruption stained the reputations of many people.”

The court ordered the companies to pay NIS 100,000 in court costs. Alstom and Kopp supplied the cars for the Yerushalayim light rail, and had hoped to do so for the Tel Aviv light rail as well. According to the companies, they cannot compete with CNR and lower their price as much as the Chinese company had.

The Light Rail Authority said that the companies “had organized a campaign against officials and workers of the Authority, that included writing letters, leaking documents, spreading lies, sending out private investigators, and generally trying to pressure us in order to influence the outcome of the tender. Now, with the decision of the court accepting the Authority’s position, we will now turn our attention to the tender for electrical work and track-laying.”