British Virgin Islands high court to resume hearing in Reko Diq case on January 18

  • Next hearing on January 18
  • Plea filed by TCC for enforcement of ICSID decision

LONDON ( WEB DESK )The High Court of Justice in the British Virgin Island (BVI) will be hearing case pertaining to the enforcement of the $6 billion award in the Reko Diq matter on January 18.

In a brief court proceeding on Thursday, Justice Gerhard Wallbank of the BVI High Court of Justice fixed the next hearing for January 18 wherein Pakistani counsel will be given half a day to present arguments in the case first time since the court froze Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) assets registered in the BVI jurisdiction.

The injunction on the PIA assets will remain in place till January 19, a source from Pakistan’s legal team told The receivership also stays in place till a decision is made at the next hearing.

Case background

In July 2019, the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) slapped a massive $5.976 billion award against Pakistan for revoking Tethyan Copper Company’s (TCC) mining contract at Reko Diq in Balochistan.

Former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s verdict in the Reko Diq case had set off the series of events that led to the ICSID decision after nearly seven years of litigation.

In September 2020, Pakistan won a stay on the enforcement of the award and ICSID said the stay shall continue on a conditional basis. The arbitrator directed Pakistan to provide an “unconditional and irrevocable” bank guarantee or the letter of credit (LC) for 25% of the award, plus accrued interest as of the date of the decision.

Pakistan, however, missed the deadline and did not deposit a 25% bank guarantee.

In November 2020, the TCC approached the BVI High Court of Justice for enforcement of the award. On December 16, the high court had, through an ex parte order, attached assets belonging to the Pakistan International Airlines Investment Limited (PIAIL) including Roosevelt Hotel in New York, Scribe Hotel in Paris, and froze 40% of PIA’s interest in Minhal Incorporated.

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