Judges from three states debunked the lies of Tsvetan Vassilev

US court of arbitration ruled that CorpBank was a pyramid, dismissed the claim of the Omani State General Reserve Fund for €80m

Tsvetan Vassilev

The arbitrators representing three countries have debunked the lies of Tsvetan Vassilev about CorpBank and resolutely ruled that the bank could not be saved because it was syphoned off by the fugitive banker who turned into a pyramid. On 13 August, one of the most authoritative world arbitration tribunals, the court in the US capital Washington (ICSID) put to end the saga with the claim filed by the Omani State General Reserve Fund against Bulgaria almost four years ago, on 22 October 2015.

The Fund sued Bulgaria as the minority owner of CorpBank as the reasoning behind was that it was not allowed to take part in the bank’s rescue. According to publications in the media, the injury claim was for €80m which is about the sum which the Fund invested in CorpBank amounting to BGN 185m. However, the ICSID has resolutely asserted that there was no chance for rescuing the bank owing to huge capital and liquidity deficit worth of billions in BGN. The sentence was pronounced by a panel of three arbitrators who built high reputation in settling such disputes: panel chair Vaughan Lowe and arbitrators David Haigh (Canada) and Brigitte Stern (France). Their ruling finally dismisses the claim of the Omani fund as unwarranted and awards the legal costs to the claimant. The court arrived at this decision after Bulgaria, represented by the Ministry of Finance tabled two statements of defence and enclosed expert conclusions and evidence listed in the CorpBank case filed against Tsvetan Vassilv and other 18 defendants involved in it. On the basis of the written statements of the defence the Omani fund dropped its claim several months ago without the right to resume the case in this or any other international arbitration tribunals.

The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) initiated the revocation of CorpBank’s license and insisted on declaring it insolvent in November of 2014 after the Central Bank entrusted the audit of the collapsed bank’s assets to three international audit firms: Deloitte Audit, Ernst & Young and AFA. The audit results showed that with a view to the total worth of the provided loans, BGN 5,3bn, impairment should be made worth over BGN 4bn owing to lack of any adequate assets backing which could be cashed. BGN 3,5bn of the provided loans went to a certain category of beneficiaries related to Tsvetan Vassilev, whose credit scores are incomplete or non-existent. Later these conclusions were confirmed both by the prosecution’s investigation and the international consulting company AlixPartners which finished the audit with the conclusion that the fugitive banker used the depository as his private piggy bank.

Actually the decision of the ICID in Washington once again confirms the fact which for many years has been stated by different institutions and was proven by numerous probes whose results were published in some Bulgarian media, Telegraph Media publications including. And the fact is that CorpBank stood no chance of recovery because in was syphoned off almost completely via unsecured loans to shell companies connected with Tsvetan Vassilev.

Against this backdrop the silence of the media financed not only by Vassilev but also by other indicted Bulgarian oligarchs, such as Ivo Prokopiev and Ognyan Donev, is deafening. They are trying to play down the ruling of the ICSID. In contrast to extensive articles which they devoted to the lawsuit conducted in Washington when the claim was filed and after the other steps made by the claimant in which they persistently questioned the decision by force of which the bank was declared insolvent and the actions of the prosecution, now, when the case is closed, they released only several short articles. Having in mind the close connections between Vassilev, Prokopiev and Donev these articles’ obeisant authors omit saying what the ICSID ruling actually means.

Why do the satellite media outlets of Vassilev and his henchmen keep silent? Because ever since the fugitive banker has been hiding out from the public wrath and justice in Serbia he doggedly tries to pose as a victim of a “corporate raid” claiming that everything was all right with CorpBank and in fact his enemies took the bank away from him. This is the reasoning which Vassilev’s wife Antoaneta and daughter Radosveta share with him. The two of them are also charged with laundering CorpBank money and for many years now stage international campaigns against Bulgaria. They also stand behind the two claims filed in Washington against the man whom Vassilev declared his No.1 enemy – lawmaker and publisher of Telegraph Media Delyan Peevski owing to the latter’s legislative initiatives which forestalled the secondary looting of CorpBank. The first claim was under the Global Magnitsky Act, then the fugitive banker for the first time tried to pose as a victim of a “corporate raid” but to no avail. After the Magnitsky balloon burst Vassilev, via his figure-heads, filed a new claim, again with the motive that CorpBank and he as majority owner fell victims to a corporate raid.

This time the claim was filed under the RICO Act. And although the case hearing is still pending, the ruling of the arbitration tribunal puts to complete rout (exactly in the US) the defence thesis of the man whose name became the Bulgarian equivalent of the international fraudster Bernie Madoff. Neither Vassilev nor the other oligarchs would like this fact to leak to the Bulgarian public space. And they are trying to hush it up but in vain.

Washington court is the leader in settling investment disputes

The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) boasts 50-year long history, it is the leading arbitration tribunal for settling disputes between investors and states. It was founded in 1966 on the basis of the Convention for Settlement of Investment Disputes between states and foreign citizens. It is one of the five organisations with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development Group, International Development Association, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and International Center for Regulation of Investment Disputes.

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