In a development that Michel Bonnefus called 'devastating', the descendants of King James I of Aragon (1208-1276) have obtained a restraining order on America's Cup management and the city of Valencia, preventing any
'commercial use of waters' claimed by the Montpellier family. That includes the entire sailing area for Act 13, the Louis Vuitton Cup, and the America's Cup.
'We've been quietly negotiating this for many months, even offering a significant 'incentive' payment to the family to quit their claim on the area but they've pushed this to the brink and have found a receptive ear with a local judge with monarchist leanings,' said an attorney for the America' s Cup who insisted on anonymity.
The heart of the claim rests with the fact that in 1238 when James I conquered the city of Valencia, he did not annex it to the kingdom of Aragon or Catalunya, but made it into an autonomous kingdom within the group of States under his sceptre. That historical quirk has never been addressed by any subsequent court or national body. Thus the claim that the entire city of Valencia still falls under the ownership and rule of James' descendants apparently has enough validity to warrant this unprecedented action.
'Oh, this is a legal scholar's dream case' said Enrique Chata-Ortega, chancellor of Madrid's famed University Alfonso X El Sabio. 'We have 800 years of history to sort through, this could take years to resolve.
Ultimately I believe the family's claim will lose in court but that's little consolation now to the event organisers who are prohibited from launching.'
A spokesman for the Montpellier family denied rumours that they pushed for an injunction after being denied a position as '17th man' aboard the Spanish syndicate Desafio Espanol: 'We're Catalans, not Spaniards! If all we wanted was 17th man it would be with those cute Latin Rascals... Madame de Montpellier would love to be seated immediately behind Nacho and Flavio...'
Legal wrangling continue as the deadline approaches.
THE LAST WORD
April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four. -- Mark Twain
Editors Note: For the benefit of the thin skinned and easily offended, David McCreary, Editor of Scuttlebutt Europe traditionally produces a special edition of his newsletter on All Fools Day. At least, on one day of the year, it gives some of us a laugh.
To subscribe to his newsletter go to: www.scuttlebutteurope.com
by Breaking news - courtesy Scuttlebutt Europe - 3:49 AM Sun 1 Apr 2007 GMT
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