The Court found it had been sufficiently proven that the NMa, with the press release it published in November 2002 and with text in its 2002 annual report, had indeed prejudiced the interests of Accell Group.
This was ruled to be unlawful and negligent, and the Court has ordered the NMa to pay damages.
The damages Accell Group suffered in this matter pertain primarily to reputational damage and the costs of the defence. The amount of damages is yet to be determined.
René Takens, chairman of the Executive Board of Accell Group said:
:In 2002, we were unpleasantly surprised by the unexpected press publications of the NMa. In addition to our objections to the content of the publications, we believed it to be unjust that you can be condemned in this country in newspapers and annual reports without any reasonable form of counter argument being heard.
"This ruling from the Court and the fact that the NMa itself has withdrawn a large portion of the accusations made at the time, give us reason to feel supported in our further defence against the fine imposed on us by the NMa. After all, one remains innocent until proven otherwise in court."