British high court bars Pakistan from raising corruption allegations

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Reko Diq. Photo file
  • Pakistan’s challenge to a partial ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) was blocked by a London court.
  • A UK court ruled that Pakistan’s Supreme Court did not base its decision on corruption allegations.
  • Balochistan had claimed that TCC had paid large bribes to Pakistani government officials.

LONDON: London High Court barred Pakistan from pleading corruption allegations in notorious Reko Diq case amid challenge to International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) partial award won by Australian mining company Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) – ruling that Balochistan province can no longer plead corruption allegations against gold mining giant as Pakistan Supreme Court failed to base ruling in Reko Diq on corruption allegations .

The news has exclusive access to Judge Robin Knowles’ 98-page decision. Judge Knowles’ ruling of the High Court of Justice is a setback as Pakistan’s legal team sought to overturn the entire case using the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s ruling, but the High Court of London said Balochistan had chosen not to raise the issue. of corruption during international arbitration and has not even alleged corruption – while raising the corruption allegations in the High Court in London.

Balochistan had filed a lawsuit against TCC in a British high court over allegations that TCC paid large bribes to Pakistani government officials, mainly in Balochistan, before and after the conclusion of the deal. joint venture, to secure a mining deal and in exchange for various “illegitimate benefits” under the deal.

Dismissing Balochistan’s claim, Judge Knowles ruled that Balochistan had waived its right to mount corruption allegations to challenge the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal ruling on the claims regarding the Reko Diq gold and copper mines in Balochistan.

Baluchistan had alleged corruption and also argued that the ICC lacked jurisdiction, but the English court ruled that English arbitration law prohibited parties from raising issues in court that had not been raised during arbitration in the same case.

Judge Knowles said in the ruling that Pakistan’s referral in arbitration over a Pakistan Supreme Court ruling that an underlying agreement was void was insufficient to show that it raised the claims of corruption in court.

In his ruling, the English judge acknowledged that while the Supreme Court of Pakistan had found that an underlying joint venture agreement which led TCC to attempt to obtain digging rights was void, Pakistan’s highest court no had not based its decision on Pakistan’s claim and claim that the deal was obtained as a result of bribery or corrupt practices.

Justice Knowles noted that Pakistan’s Supreme Court made no reference to the corruption allegations in its ruling while declaring the agreement invalid.

“There are insufficient descriptions or references to corruption: the question to which the corruption allegation relates is whether the Supreme Court of Pakistan has found that the [joint venture agreement] and the related agreements were void due to the existence of corruption, ”Judge Knowles wrote. “In my opinion, this is not the case. “

The judge noted that Balochistan had sufficient opportunities to raise the corruption allegations in the international tribunal, but he chose not to do so and instead chose another jurisdiction to start the case.

The judge wrote: “If the province has evidence relating to corruption that has not been submitted to the ICC tribunal… then it is up to the province to seek to address these issues with the arbitral tribunal; this does not make it legitimate for the province to raise them in court as a challenge to the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal.

The judge ruled that the province of Balochistan cannot prosecute “the corruption allegation because it was not included in the arbitration request form”. The judge also ruled that Balochistan could not be allowed to change the arbitration request form – effectively dismissing the Balochistan case.

Originally posted in The News


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