Published: Feb 14, 2011 8:41 PM EST
Updated: Feb 14, 2011 5:41 PM EST

FORT PIERCE - Trial has begun in a Florida federal court of a dispute between a former French intelligence officer and a powerful Dubai conglomerate over a failed recreational submarine venture.

A 10-person jury was seated Monday in Fort Pierce, with opening statements later in the day.

Dubai World claims it lost $31 million because of fraud and other supposed wrongdoing by submarine designer Herve Jaubert.

Jaubert counters that he was essentially held captive and threatened with torture in Dubai when authorities confiscated his passport in 2007.

Jaubert fled Dubai in an escape he says included dressing as a Muslim woman and sailing to India. He eventually arrived in Florida.

Both sides are seeking unspecified damages.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)