Archive for February 28th, 2018

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A BIIR victory in the courts of Odessa – What’s next?

February 28, 2018

In mid October 2017, an entry appeared painting in broad brushstrokes the nefarious circumstances surrounding the purchase of commercial property in Odessa by the Danish engineering company BIIR – taking the unusual step of publishing within it a letter by the Danish Ambassador relating to the incident, when normally such correspondence is received and dealt with far more discreetly.

Naturally the Danish embassy was not the only entity lobbying on behalf of BIIR – some behind the curtain, whilst others were active before it.  Eventually parliamentarians from Odessa were encouraged to take on the issue.

Suffice to say that the Appellate Court of Odessa on 27th February finally ruled in favour of BIIR – after more than 9 months of legal proceedings, oft canceled, and witnessing something of a (deliberate) merry-go-round of local judges as well.

Nevertheless, eventually a just verdict has arrived – despite more than 9 months of unnecessarily poor media for Odessa regarding this foreign investor.  Such is still the nature of things.

Hurrah and huzzah!  A victory not only for BIIR (and those lobbying on their behalf – paid or otherwise), but also for the rule of law.

Yet there are now further hurdles for BIIR to jump with regard to the City Administration.

Having now legally been acknowledged as the rightful owners, the ramshackle, nay derelict property that sits at the bottom of the newly redesigned and rather splendid Istanbul Park, requires demolishing and a new eco-friendly facility capable of accommodating an expanding workforce (up to 500) has to be built.

Ergo, there remains a lot of bureaucracy with City Hall to negotiate before BIIR eventually have the asset they originally planned – and the nefarious antagonist who lost at the Appellate Court is hardly without solid connections within City Hall to make such matters “difficult”.

It remains to be seen whether BIIR will benefit from the current problems surrounding Mayor Turkhanov, thus insuring a smooth bureaucratic ride – or not.  The winners and losers of Mayor Trukhanov’s circumstances are not yet entirely clear.

Arguably, for now, MP Alexie Goncharenko’s influence within City Hall has increased with Mayor Trukhanov at liberty under the personal guarantee of MP Dmitry Golubov – who is very close to Mr Goncharenko.

Alexie Goncharenko was privately lobbied to take a stand for BIIR – and he did (as the blog knew he would).

However that does not necessarily equate to a smooth bureaucratic ride through City Hall and the absence of yet more unnecessarily unhelpful headlines for Odessa – particularly so when 2019 elections can change the entire political scenery.

It takes only the bureaucratic wheels to deliberately turn slowly enough for the political machinery to change – and with it any hopes of demolition and construction work may yet end up another cause for legal jousting in an Odessa court.

For now a victory for BIIR and the rule of law to be celebrated – until the next battle for the rule of law.

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