In response to the crisis in Ukraine in February 2014, the Council of the European Union decided, on 5 March 2014, to freeze the funds and economic resources, in particular, of persons identified by the Ukrainian authorities as responsible for misappropriation of Ukrainian State funds.
Gherson acted for three individuals on that list, Andriy Klyuyev, Sergiy Klyuyev and Yuriy Ivanyushenko. We had already secured the removal of all three individuals from the sanctions list but on 11 July 2019 the General Court handed down judgment in relation to historic restrictive measures imposed against Andriy Klyuyev in 2018 and confirmed (as indeed it had in previous judgments secured by this firm) that these measures were unlawfully maintained against our client.
Today’s result confirms the correctness of the decision of the Council of the EU to de-list our client earlier this year. It is however extremely disappointing that it took over 5 years to finally reach this point. Our client has, from the outset, presented compelling evidence to the Council of the EU which demonstrated that their decision to place him on the sanctions list was simply wrong and unsustainable. We remain concerned that this evidence was simply ignored by the Council of the EU for over 4 years. The judgment confirms that the Council did not properly investigate the underlying allegations being made by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine and instead, “merely accepted the explanations given by the PGO”. This was completely unacceptable.
As a firm we are delighted to have now secured the permanent removal of all of our clients from the sanctions list but the fact that it has taken 5 years to reach this point is troubling. It is to be hoped that the Council of the EU will learn from the judgments that have been handed down in these cases and not subject other individuals to these draconian measures without ensuring there is proper evidence from the requesting state.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.
Image © Court of Justice of the European Union