The ICSID (International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, International Arbitration Court, part of the World Bank Group) has provisionally suspended payment of the arbitration award from 110 million which the Albanian state had to pay after losing the case against the Italian entrepreneur Francesco Becchetti.
The temporary suspension came after the cancellation motion requested by the Albanian government for the verdict, which punished the Country of Eagles with the largest monetary sanction in history.
The history of the controversy
Last 24 April, the same ICSID had condemned the Albanian Government and recognizes the entrepreneur Francesco Becchetti, owner - among other things - of Agon Channel (Albania-based television station) 110 million by way of compensation.
The story revolves around Agon Channel: following an investigation by the prosecutor's office, the Albanian government decided to close the issuer on the basis of accusations of tax evasion, money laundering and embezzlement.
The Albanian prosecutor claimed that Becchetti, through his own companies in Albania (including Agon Channel), had set up an articulated money laundering network, with which he had already earned more than 38 million.
Meanwhile, the ICSID verdict shifted the balance in favor of 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 and, for this reason, the closure of the television station had been labeled by the ICSID as "political persecution".
Pursuant to the ICSID Arbitration Rules, the ICSID Secretary General is required to order a temporary suspension of the award when the party requesting the cancellation of the award has requested its suspension in its application.
This suspension is automatic and provisional; the decision, however, is the responsibility of the Commission, once appointed.
Therefore, the temporary suspension ordered by the ICSID is automatic and does not prejudice or influence in any way the decisions of the Commission, neither on the suspension nor on the merit of the cancellation request submitted by Albania.
The Country of the Eagles - according to the statement of the international court - has also changed the law firm for the case by choosing Foley Hoag, one of the most famous American studies in the world for the defense of states in judicial conflicts.