LONDON, October 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
- EU Council's reasons deemed vague and 'manifestly erring'
Legal representatives of Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg have filed application to the General Court of the European Union seeking the removal of restrictive measures imposed on Mr. Rotenberg by the EU Council resulting from the situation in Ukraine. The application claims that the Council failed to provide adequate or sufficient justification in the process of imposing asset ban and travel restrictions on Mr. Rotenberg.
The application, drafted by leading UK counsel Lord Pannick QC of Blackstone Chambers states that:
"The reputational harm and the serious damage to Mr. Rotenberg's business activities and private life, caused by his inclusion in the restrictive measures, are enormous." And that: "The freeze on his assets and economic resources is disproportionate to any legitimate aim."
Rotenberg's lawyers declare the following objections:
The EU Council failed to provide adequate or sufficient evidence for imposing the asset ban and travel restrictions. Mr. Rotenberg has not yet received clarification regarding which of the alleged Sanction Criteria apply to him, despite having written to the EU Council several times. The application further states: "As long as the criteria are not clear, the Defence is not able to respond in any meaningful way to the case, and the court is not able to exercise effective judicial review."
The Council has supplied 'vague and unparticularised' reasoning as to the inclusion of Arkady Rotenberg in the restrictive measures. For example, the Council has not clarified its claim that Mr. Rotenberg 'developed his fortune during President Putin's tenure'. Subject to question is the time period to which the Council refers, the amount of money claimed to have been gained, and the verifiable link between Mr. Rotenberg and President Putin.
The EU Council relied heavily on materials holding 'demonstrable error of fact'. The Council falsely claims that Mr Rotenberg benefits from the annexation of Crimea through his alleged holding of shares in Giprotransmost, a company contracted to conduct feasibility research on the construction of a bridge from Russia to the Crimea. Arkady Rotenberg has already informed the Council that he holds no shares in Giprotranosmost; making a majority holding impossible.
Other rebuttal arguments include the Council's breach of data protection principles and a failure to safeguard applicant's rights to effective judicial review. Arkady Rotenberg was never given notice of his name being added to the list of sanctioned individuals, and no supporting evidence was provided to him in relation to the Council's decision.
The application was drafted by Lord Pannick QC of Blackstone Chamber, a former Member of the Constitution Committee of the House of Lords (2009-2013) and one of UK's most influential barristers according to the Times Law 100 (2012), and Maya Lester of Brick Court Chambers, London, who is a member of the Attorney General's A panel and Public International Law A Panel of Treasury Counsel.
Notes to Editors:
The Application for annulment pursuant to article 263 of the TFEU seeks the annulment of Council Decision 2014/508/CFSP and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 826/2014 (amending Decision 2014/145/CFSP and Regulation (EU) No 269/2014), in so far as those measures apply to Arkady Romanovich Rotenberg.
Arkady Rotenberg was included in Annex I to Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 of 17 March 2014 by Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 826/2014 of 30 July 2014, and in the Annex to Decision 2014/145/CFSP of 17 March 2014 by Council Decision 2014/508/CFSP of 30 July 2014.
The reasons for imposing the restrictions on Arkady Rotenberg are as follows:
"Mr Rotenberg is a long-term acquaintance of President Putin and his former judo sparring partner. He has developed his fortune during President Putin's tenure. He has been favoured by Russian decision-makers in the award of important contracts by the Russian State or by State-owned enterprises. His companies were notably awarded several highly lucrative contracts for the preparations of the Sochi Olympic Games. He is a major shareholder of Giprotransmost, a company which has received a public procurement contract by a Russian State-owned Company to conduct the feasibility study of the construction of a bridge from Russia to the illegality annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea, therefore consolidating its integration into the Russian Federation which in turn further undermines the territorial integrity of Ukraine."
SOURCE PHA Media