Albania Losses the 110 Million Euro Battle With Becchetti

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 2, 2021 19:32

Albania Losses the 110 Million Euro Battle With Becchetti





After a long battle in courts, Albania lost the lawsuit against the Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti, over the compensation he demanded for the closure of Agon Channel Tv in 2015, meaning that now Albania will need to pay the record sum of 110 million euro to Becchetti. Back in 2019, the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), part of the World Bank, sentenced Albania with 110 million euros, after judging that the closure of television was "politically motivated". As the Voice of America reports, the Albanian authorities reacted by requesting the annulment of the decision taken, and for that reason, the ICSID in August 2019 accepted the appeal, ordering the temporary suspension of the execution of its decision. The request of the Albanian part for the annulment of the decision was based on the violation of the procedures during the arbitration process, but the Ad Hoc Commission set up for the review of the case, did not agree with the claim of the Albanian party. The 110 million euro of damage represents the highest value with which Albania has been sentenced by an arbitral tribunal. The Italian entrepreneur Becchetti, was represented by two major law firms, Debevoise & Plimpton, based in New York, and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, based in Paris and New York.

The process of Becchetti has received widespread attention from the international media in the last months. A couple of weeks ago also the Belgian media L’Echo made a resume of the conflict between Becchetti and the Albanian government, saying that it all started in 2013, after Rama was proclaimed Prime Minister. Once he rose to power, Rama canceled two concessions awarded to Becchetti: the hydroelectrical power plant in Kalivaç, and the operation of a recycling plant. In 2015, the Office of the General Prosecutor investigated Becchetti for tax evasion, with the process culminating in June, when Tirana District Court ordered the freezing of all Becchetti’s assets, including the closure of Agon Channel Television. Agon Channel back in 2015 was considered one of the most popular tv channels in the country, which was doing daily investigations against Rama’s government, showing various scandals involving his government. For many political experts and also the opposition, the attacks against Becchetti were politically motivated by Rama, to shut the voice of one of his most popular media opponents.  

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 2, 2021 19:32