Albania must pay $ 124.6 million the Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti?

Albania must pay $ 124.6 million the Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti?
Francesco Becchetti 
 An international court has ordered Albania to pay to an Italian businessman known as Francesco Becchetti and his co-claimants an amount of € 111 million ($ 124.6 million) for expropriating the investments of a TV station.

The Lawyers of Becchetti and other co-claimants confirmed that an International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Court has taken the decision on April 24, after concluding that Albania has destroyed the accusers' investments in a television company called Agonset Ltd. Becchetti's co-claimants include Mauro de Renzis - a business partner - and two Italian companies: Hydro Srl, formed to run a hydropower plant in Albania and the Italian construction company Costruzioni Srl.

Local media reports said the decision was made, but both sides remained silent so far.

Becchetti and his partners in this case claimed in the arbitration started in 2015 that Albania had targeted them about money laundering, tax evasion and other charges and seized the assets of de Renzis and others in societies, including Agonset, as a punishment for the government's unfavorable media coverage.

The plaintiff's lawyer said in a statement Wednesday that the Court came to the conclusion that "when taken together, all the issues discussed ... strongly support the conclusion that seizure decisions were the climax of a political campaign against the claimants."

The Court further concluded that confiscating Agonset from Albania "was not a legitimate exercise of its police powers" and that the plaintiffs' investment in Agonset was expropriated as a result, according to the statement.

The decision has not yet been made public.

Becchetti praised the decision in a statement Wednesday, saying that came after "four years of difficult battle."

"Receiving confirmation that you have been subjected to persecution by a state is rare and we are delighted that the words written by the arbitrators indicate that we are completely innocent," Becchetti said.

Debevoise and Plimpton LLP partner Catherine Amirfar, part of the legal team representing the plaintiff, praised also the decision saying that "This decision is a strong reminder of the illegal behavior of the Albanian authorities to attack the independent media and reminds us of all the vitality of the constant rule of law."

Albania's lawyer could not be reached for comment outside the usual hours of work in Europe on Wednesday.

The ruling comes two years after the ICSID court urged Albania to ban extradition proceedings against Becchetti, former Leyton Orient and de Renzis football club owner in connection with tax and criminal investigations.

Becchetti had launched the Broadcaster Agonset in 2012, including content to the Albanian government.

Meanwhile, Becchetti and his co-claimants started arbitration in June 2015.
Albania must pay $ 124.6 million the Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti? Albania must pay $ 124.6 million the Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti? Friday, June 21, 2019 Rating: 5
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