The well-known Kazakh news channel Uzyn Qulaq published the following information:
“Now we can definitely assert about Kazakhstan’s final loss in the most important investment arbitration case – “Gabriel and Anatole Stati (Stati family) against the Republic of Kazakhstan”. The state, which was represented by the Kazakh corrupt official – the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Marat Beketayev, will have to pay the full amount of the claim – more than 4 billion US dollars.
As we wrote earlier, Beketayev’s ministry was allocated about 60 million US dollars annually for “representing and protecting the interests of the state abroad”, of which, over six years of litigation with the Stati family, 25 million US dollars went to the “pocket” contractors of the Ministry of Justice, such as Norton Rose Fulbright, and later Herbert Smith Freehills (in connection with the transfer from one office to another of Mrs. Patricia Nasimiento, a close acquaintance of Minister Beketayev) and Bolashak Consulting Group LLP, which shares belonged to Beketayev and Bauyrzhan Baybek.
We also noted that these “pocket” contractors initially chose a failed strategy to protect the country’s interests. Beketayev and the Ministry of Justice did not attack Gabriel and Anatol Stati, and did not try to prove the alleged illegal gas production, the claimed fraud on the investments and offshore companies, as well as the so-called fraud of the state bodies, instead they tried to justify in international arbitration the actions of state bodies and the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the expropriation of the gas production companies of the Stati family in Mangistau region of Kazakhstan. We reported earlier that the expropriation of gas producing companies, even from the standpoint of the Kazakh legislation, is a very dubious action, and there could be no defensible position of their compliance with international law and obligations to the world community to protect foreign investments.
Beketayev, as the head “state defender” in this case, did not have the courage to report that the best result that could be expected was the minimization of losses. This “ostrich” policy of Beketayev became the reason that Kazakhstan did not sit down at the negotiating table with the Stati family, when the state possessed negative information against the Stati companies. Now, when Kazakhstan has lost hearings in international arbitration, in the courts of the United States and European countries, any putative corruption schemes of the Stati family that Kazakhstan will dismantle have been devalued to zero.
Internet rumors claim that after the refusal of the US Supreme Court to reconsider its earlier decisions, including the one to force Kazakhstan to disclose the list of assets in the United States, which means subsequently their imminent arrest, the Kazakh authorities were ready to start negotiations with the Moldovan investor, trying to bargain with Gabriel and Anatol Stati regarding the total amount of damage (talking about 5-10% discount).
The rhetorical question remains: how much money would have been needed “to get rid” of the Stati family if the country began negotiations six years ago?
There are other questions: Will Kazakhstan, affected by the “coronavirus crisis,” be able to pay such a huge amount of damages to the Stati family? How much of the burden of commitment to the Stati family will fall on the national budget or the stabilization fund? Will Marat Beketayev answer for such huge losses to the state?”