Switzerland's highest court has ordered the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders to repay the Dutch government $429,000 in a dispute over a ransom paid to free an aid worker.

The case concerned a $1.5 million payment by the Netherlands government in 2004 to secure the release of Dutch aid worker Arjan Erkel. Unknown gunmen had kidnapped the worker two years earlier in Russia's southern republic of Dagestan.

The Dutch government called the funds a loan to the medical aid group, which insisted it had never agreed to repay the money.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.