Azerbaijan, Baku / corr. Trend I.Khalilova / The first court hearing took place in London in the International Center for Investment Disputes with regards to the lawsuit of Barmek Holding against the Government of Azerbaijan, said the First Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Azerbaijan, Mikail Jabbarov.
The lawsuit requires indemnifying the investments in the amount of $291mln allocated to Baku Electricity Network. The interests of the Ministry of Economic Development are protected by the US legal company, Gladham Watkins.
The hearing focused on the disputable issues and defined period for the two sides to submit their arguments.
"After this, one more hearing will take place to consider the commentaries on the complaint. It is clear that any lawsuit in international arbitrage may take at least one year, even fifteen months. I think that it will not be needed to make additional research of a technical or financial character," Jabbarov said. In addition, the arbitrage considered the petition of Barmek Holding regarding eliminating the company's arrest by Azerbaijan's Economic Development Ministry.
"Presently we are expecting an initial decision of the arbitrage regarding the petition," Jabbarov said.
Barmek has two types of debts. The first one is for its electrical consumption in 2006, which was not paid by the company at all. The other debt is for the electricity offered on a lax cost, but the Company is to launch the pay back starting from 2008. According to the contract, Barmek Azerbaijan was to gradually increase the level of payment for electricity to 50%, 55%, 60%, 75% (since 2005) and up to 100% starting from 2006.