The Prosecutor General’s Office of Luxembourg has recommended closing a criminal case against the claimants of the Tristan Oil Award, Anatolie and Gabriel Stati. The closure would mean the restart of civil actions by the Statis, including their claim to seize Kazakhstan’s 40% stake in Eurasian Resources Group (“ERG”) and related dividends.

The Prosecutor General’s enquiry was first initiated in 2019 following a complaint by the Republic of Kazakhstan. This was part of a long-running effort to slow down enforcement efforts relating to the final, binding and non-appealable Tristan Oil Award.

The Statis had obtained orders freezing the shares and dividends in ERG, however the opening of the criminal case effectively paused all civil enforcement efforts inside Luxembourg, including actions to seize and liquidate the frozen assets. The Statis have indicated they intend to pursue further enforcement action targeting ERG once the closure of the criminal case is confirmed.

This prosecutor’s recommendation follows a January 2023 ruling by the Svea Court of Appeal (since confirmed by the Swedish Supreme Court) finally dismissing Kazakhstan’s remaining challenges against the Statis’ seizure in Sweden of approximately $75m of former National Fund assets.

The Luxembourg criminal case was initiated by the former Minister of Justice Marat Beketayev as part of a multi-jurisdictional strategy designed to obstruct payment of the USD $580 million Tristangate Award. Beketayev was arrested in October 2023 and is currently under investigation by Kazakhstan’s Anti-Corruption Agency.

Daniel Chapman, CEO of Argentem Creek Partners, said:

“For over a decade, Minister Beketayev directed a campaign of obstruction and intimidation to avoid payment of a fully binding and non-appealable Energy Charter Treaty award, including filing baseless complaints with the Luxembourg Prosecutors Office. We welcome this decision and look forward to resolving this dispute in a constructive manner.”