Romania, sued for over USD 200 mln in Washington Court
Two companies registered in Cyprus, which hold stakes in several Romanian companies through which local investor Gabriel Popoviciu has been carrying out his real estate projects, have filed a complaint against the Romanian state at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington.
They accused Romania of breaching the bilateral treaty for protecting investments signed with Cyprus and ask for compensations of “at least USD 200 million”, representatives of the Finance Ministry told local Profit.ro.
The two companies have hired two British lawyers and the London office of the American law firm Shearman & Sterling, one of the biggest in the world, to represent them in this dispute. Meanwhile, the Romanian state has hired American law firm Hunton Andrews Kurth and two Romanian law firms, Toader si Asociatii and Cobuz si Asociatii, to represent it.
The two companies started this case against Romania after the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) froze their assets to recover the damages in a corruption case in which Romanian investor Gabriel Popoviciu was sentenced to 7 years in jail last year. The case is related to the way in which he acquired the 224-hectare land plot where he developed the Baneasa real estate project. He got the land through an association contract with the Agronomy University in Bucharest. Popoviciu is currently in London.