PARIS, June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Kazakh company Caratube International Oil Company LLP (Caratube) and U.S. national Mr. Devincci Hourani (Khorani)(92% owner of Caratube), have filed on June 5, 2013, a Request for Arbitration against the Republic of Kazakhstan, before the World Bank's arbitration centre, ICSID, claiming over 1 billion US dollars in damages.
The claim follows the expropriation of the Hourani family's assets by Kazakhstan, including Caratube, starting in 2007. Caratube was, until the unlawful expropriation, the holder of rights for exploration and production of large quantity of hydrocarbons confirmed under their management in the Caratube Field in the Baiganin District of Aktobe Oblast of the Republic of Kazakhstan pursuant to a contract entered into on May 27, 2002 with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Caratube and Mr. Devincci Hourani assert that the expropriation of their rights was unlawful and that they were in reality the collateral damage of the dispute between the President of Kazakhstan and his then son-in-law, Mr. Rakhat Aliyev.
The Hourani family, related by marriage to Mr. Aliyev via Mr. Issam Hourani's (Khorani) marriage to Mr. Aliyev's sister, claims that it was simply assimilated to Mr. Aliyev. As a result, the Hourani family and its assets, which included an empire consisting of media interests, pharmaceutical, oil and gas ventures, an airline and a poultry business, became targets of the Kazakh government. The family was subject to raids, criminal prosecution, expropriation without compensation of its assets, and its members were forced to flee the country. They have also been subject to defamation, harassment, and intimidation in third countries, including in the Republic of Lebanon, by way of false charges and misuse of Interpol procedures made by Kazakh authorities in an effort to dissuade them from raising claims for compensation for their expropriated assets before international tribunals.
As Dr. Hamid G. Gharavi, attorney to Caratube, Mr. Issam Hourani, Mr. Devincci Hourani and the Hourani family in different proceedings, pending or about to be initiated, explains, Caratube and/or its majority shareholder Mr. Devincci Hourani will have their claims heard on the merits before ICSID as the new arbitration has been initiated under three separate independent legal instruments, namely Kazakhstan's foreign investment law, Kazakh-U.S. bilateral investment treaty and the oil exploration and production contract entered into between Caratube and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Caratube is only one of the many arbitrations pending or about to be initiated by the Hourani's and other relatives against the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Dr. Gharavi points out that ICSID Tribunals have already held Kazakhstan liable for similar takings, including the Rumeli & Telsim v. Kazakhstan case, where it was ordered to pay 170 million USD with interests for the expropriation of Kar-Tel, at the time the second largest mobile operator in Kazakhstan, owned by Turkish investors.
Mr. Issam Hourani, Mr. Devincci Hourani and the rest of the Hourani family are businessmen with no involvement in Kazakh politics. They are merely seeking justice, i.e. compensation for assets seized and to preserve their reputation.
SOURCE Derains & Gharavi