It looks like the legal battle between Moldovan businessmen Anatolie and Gabriel Stati and Kazakhstan is turning into a dangerous precedent for Akorda. Those investors who have been “conned”, like the Statis, are closely following the case. In the event of losing the battle, the Kazakh authorities may find themselves “buried” underneath similar claims.
On May 7, 2019, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal confirmed the earlier decision of the Amsterdam District Court allowing an attachment in favor of Anatolie Stati, Gabriel Stati, Ascom Group S.A., and Terra Raf Trans Traiding Ltd (together, the Stati parties) with respect to the Republic of Kazakhstan'sshareholding in the Dutch entity KMG Kashagan B.V. held via the Kazakh sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna.
Through its share in Kashagan whose nominal value constitutes about US$5.2 bln, the Kazakh state is participating in the international consortium related to the Kashagan oil filed which is one of the biggest offshore fields in the Caspian. Other members of the consortium include Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, ExxonMobil, China National Petroleum Corporation, and Inpex.
By its decision to deny the appeals filed by Kazakhstan and the sovereign welfare fund Samruk-Kazyna, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal confirmed that, despite the fact that Samruk-Kasyna is said to be an independent legal body, it “lacks factual-economic independence, in the sense that Samruk cannot invoke its legally separate nature vis-à-vis the Republic of Kazakhstan to formulate its own policies, deviating from the policies of (those politically responsible in) the Republic of Kazakhstan, and adopts the latter's policies as its own”.
The Dutch court has also ruled that, since the “the purpose of the attached shares was commercial in nature, Samruk was not entitled to rely on the state immunity defense”.
Anatolie Stati says that the verdict “entitles us to proceed with the foreclosure process with respect to the Kashagan shares, which we expect to be completed by early 2020”.
We will remark that the Dutch court’s verdict constitutes another victory in the long-lasting legal battle between the Statis and Kazakhstan. Based on the information received, another verdict is to be reached soon in Sweden after which the sale of Kazakhstan’s assets is to begin.
The readers unfamiliar with the subject or those who want to revisit the particulars of the case can find detailed information in our publications:
- on the essence of the matter - Akorda Is Risking Kashagan
- on the twists and turns of the case – On the Scandalous Case of Stati and the Coming Catastrophe, KMG: On Stati’s Claim Risks, Stati Sets the Score, How Kazakhstan Lost to Stati in the New World (text available in Russian), On the Statis’ Case and Beketayev’s Italian Fiasco.