Romania-Insider | 21 March 2022
Romania wins USD 200 mln arbitration against fugitive businessman Popoviciu
by Andrei Chirileasa
Romania won the lawsuit at the World Bank’s arbitration court ICSID under which Alverley Investments Limited, owned by businessmen Puiu Popoviciu and Radu Dimofte, and Germen Properties Ltd, asked USD 200 mln in compensation, Economedia.ro reported.
The ICSID arbitral tribunal on March 16 this year admitted it had no jurisdiction concerning the applicant Germen and rejected as inadmissible Alverley’s application. The court also ordered the applicants to pay the costs of USD 4.1 mln.
The two companies are investors in the Băneasa project developed in northern Bucharest. For this, Puiu Popoviciu was sentenced to seven years in prison. The ruling is final.
The fugitive businessman Popoviciu, however, is currently in the United Kingdom, and the extradition process takes time.
In the case opened at ICSID, the applicants’ claims were based on the agreement between Romania and Cyprus on mutual promotion and protection of investments.
The applicants claimed that, as shareholders of some Romanian companies, they had made investments in the Băneasa real estate project.
The investment was the subject of a criminal investigation, finalized with a final conviction for Puiu Popoviciu.
The investors claimed that Romania violated the treaty through arbitral and discriminatory interventions, criminal investigation bodies and courts, by depriving them of the possibility to exercise their property right over investments and the right to a fair trial.