The Albanian government is preparing the motion to request the annulment of the ICSID international arbitration court ruling (ie in Italian, the International Center for the Resolution of Disputes).
ICSID is part of the World Bank group and the body has condemned the Albanian state to compensation that according to sources fluctuates between the 110 and the 140 million euros for the Italian entrepreneur Francesco Becchetti, already owner of Agon Channel, a pan-European television station based in Albania.
In fact, it is around Agon Channel that the story revolves: following an investigation by the prosecutor, the Albanian government decided to close the issuer on the basis of accusations of tax evasion, money laundering and embezzlement. The legal disputes between Becchetti and the Albanian state are nothing new. The Italian entrepreneur has been the subject of the same accusations of financial crimes also regarding the construction of the Kalivac hydroelectric plant.
Becchetti obtained the license in the far 1997, but the works of the plant were never completed. The Albanian prosecutor maintains that Becchetti, through his companies in Albania (including Agon Channel), has set up an extensive money laundering network, with which he has already earned more than 38 million.
Meanwhile, the ICSID decision shifts the balance to Becchetti, supporting the latter's argument that the closure of Agon Channel took place purely for political reasons. In fact, the broadcaster had repeatedly expressed itself critically towards the socialist government of Edi Rama. During the arbitration, Interpol had withdrawn the international arrest warrant against Becchetti and De Renzis (his business partner) since the Albanian authorities were unable to justify it sufficiently. At the same time, the London courts had refused extradition requests from the Albanian state.
The expropriation of Agon Channel, therefore, was considered illegal, as it is in violation of the bilateral investment treaty between Italy and Albania. On the other hand, the Albanian lawyer has already moved to request the cancellation of the ICSID ruling: the request must be presented by the next 20 June. However, the state attorney would have already contacted a US study specializing in international disputes to begin work on the appeal.
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