Derains & Gharavi : Press Release on Behalf of Caratube International Oil Company LLP And Mr. Devincci Hourani

03-Oct-2017 Intellasia | BusinessWire | 7:56 PM Print This Post

Caratube International Oil Company LLP and Mr.
Devincci Salah Hourani (ICSID n°ARB/13/13) – AWARD

PARIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The following is a statement from Derains & Gharavi, Caratube and Mr.
Hourani’s legal representatives:

“On September 27, 2017, an ICSID Arbitral Tribunal, under auspices of
the World Bank, composed of President Prof. Laurent Levy, Prof. Laurent
Aynés and Prof. Jacques Salès, rendered the first Award ruling on the
merits the Hourani family (including Messrs. Devincci
Hourani
, Issam
Hourani (Khorani)
and Kassem Omar)’s numerous claims against
Kazakhstan, in favour of Caratube International Oil Company LLP
(“Caratube”) finding Kazakhstan liable under Kazakh and international
law for unlawful expropriation and ordered it to pay Caratube USD 39.2
million in damages, plus USD 1,207,757.44, and well over 10 million USD
in interest (“ICSID Award”).

The Hourani family had its business empire expropriated by Kazakhstan in
2008 and has ever since been the target of acts of intimidation and
defamation by Kazakhstan worldwide, based on what it has claimed ever
since to be pretenses whereas the underlying reason is simply that it
was caught in between a family and political dispute between President
Nazarbayev and his then son in law, the late Mr. Rakhat Aliyev, to whom
the Houranis are related by marriage.

The Hourani family has since 2008 launched a number of arbitrations
against Kazakhstan and has been preparing to seek compensation for the
expropriation of their businesses. The ICSID Award is the very first
Award ever that has ruled on the merits of any of these claims. It was
in relation to a Contract for the Exploration and Production of
Hydrocarbons dated May 27, 2002 entered into by Caratube with the
Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

The Tribunal found by majority decision, at paragraph 905 of the Award,
that the termination of the Contract by the Ministry of Energy and
Mineral Resources was unlawful and in breach of Kazakh and international
law as Caratube was not adequately notified of any alleged breaches of
Contract before termination, and that there was in any event no evidence
that Caratube had materially breached any of its obligations.

The Tribunal further added, at paragraphs 924, 926, 927 and 934 of the
Award, that the termination of the Contract was made as a result of the
interference of the General Prosecutor by means of correspondence to the
Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, which was acted on as an
instruction to the Ministry to terminate Caratube’s Contract. It found
that this constituted a sovereign interference in a private contract in
violation of Kazakh and international law.

More, the Tribunal held, at paragraph 936 of the Award, that the real
motivation behind the termination of the Contract was, as the Hourani
family has been claiming since 2008 in relation to each and every one of
their expropriated investments, not any allegedly deficient performance,
but rather lied in the family and political context underlying the case,
i.e. coinciding with the Hourani family’s falling out of favor of
Kazakhstan. As the Tribunal put it at the same paragraph: “It was the
Respondent’s sovereign act that caused 
[Caratube]’s loss of
its existing rights under the Contract, rather than the latter’s alleged
breaches of the Contract.
In particular, considering the
troubling facts (especially the chronology of the facts taken as a
whole) underlying this case and the evidence on the record, a majority
of the Tribunal considers that the Claimants have convincingly
established that the real motivation behind the termination of the
Contract was not 
[Caratube]’s allegedly
deficient performance of the Contract, but rather lies in the family and
political context underlying the case.
While [Caratube]’s
deficient performance of its contractual obligations might not have been
approved by the Respondent, it was tolerated without any material
consequences attached thereto until the year 2007, thus coinciding with
the Hourani family’s falling out of favor with the Respondent
.”

The holding of the tribunal, the first to ever rule on the merits of any
of the takings by Kazakhstan of the Hourani family’s assets, is
transposable to all of the takings that occurred under the same
circumstances in violation of Kazakh and international law. Kazakhstan
has similarly expropriated the Hourani family’s airport, pharmaceutical
company, poultry industry, media and many other assets, spent so far
over USD 50,000,000 (including over 17,000,000 USD in the latest
Caratube ruling only) in legal, expert and lobbying fees worldwide to
justify the same via post facto allegations of the most errand kind that
have aggravated the Hourani family’s hardship.

The Houranis, businessmen only without any involvement ever in politics,
are friends of Kazakhstan and its citizens and hope that this first ever
judgment on the merits by an international tribunal under the auspices
of the World Bank ruling under Kazakh and international will allow
prompt and fair compensation for the taking of all of their assets and
the closure of all claims in the interest of all parties.

The Award is publicly available at https://www.italaw.com/sites/default/files/case-documents/italaw9324.pdf.
Further enquiries should be addressed to Caratube and Mr. Hourani’s
legal representative, Dr. Hamid G. Gharavi, of the law firm Derains &
Gharavi (Paris), by email hgharavi@derainsgharavi.com or
phone + 33 1 40 55 51 00.”

Contacts

Derains & Gharavi
Dr. Hamid G. Gharavi, + 33-1-40-55-51-00
hgharavi@derainsgharavi.com

 


Category: BusinessWire, PRAsia

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