The Supreme Court in the Netherlands cancelled the verdict issued earlier by the Hague Court of Appeal on the compensation of over $50 billion by Russia in favour of Yukos shareholders, stating that the institution mistakenly ignored the argument of the Russian Federation about fraud on the part of shareholders.
“For procedural reasons, the Hague Court of Appeal mistakenly ignored the argument of the Russian Federation that the shareholders allegedly committed fraud in the arbitration procedure, and therefore did not make a substantive decision on this matter […] Consequently, the decisions of the Court of Appeal cannot remain in force,” the message of the Dutch Supreme Court states.
Earlier, $50 billion was recovered from Russia on the claims of former shareholders (including interest, the amount exceeded $57 billion). The Constitutional Court of Russia stated that its decision of 2012 should not be interpreted as a document that allows the transfer of disputes to the International Court of Justice. According to the Constitutional Court, the government can sign international treaties on behalf of Russia, but disputes over them should be considered in Russian courts. Otherwise, it will be considered a violation of the sovereignty of the country.
The Arbitration Tribunal in The Hague ordered Russia to pay $50 billion to shareholders back in 2014. However, Moscow appealed, and the payment process was frozen. In February last year, the Hague Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the district court and again ordered Russia to pay shareholders.
In May 2020, Russia filed a cassation appeal to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. The Ministry of Justice noted that, among other things, the Court of Appeal neglected numerous facts of violation by the plaintiffs of the Russian anti-corruption and “anti-laundering” regulation, RIA Novosti reports. It is alleged that the ex-shareholders took possession of the company’s assets after proven collusion, fictitious bidding and bribery of officials responsible for its privatization. In addition, the former owners systematically did not pay taxes, illegally took the company’s property abroad and “laundered” money”.
Today, the Supreme Court overturned the final decision of the Court of Appeal, as well as the previous decision. The Supreme Court granted one of the grounds for the appeal of the Russian Federation.
Source: Novye Izvestiya