Turkey wins final appeal in Libananco case against Uzan family
ANKARA – Anatolia News Agency
The owner of the Uzan group, Turkish businessman Cem Uzan (L), who currently lives in the French capital of Paris, was sentenced to 18 years and five months in prison for embezzlement last march. Hürriyet archive photoTurkey has won the final appeal trial in the Libananco trial over the Uzan family, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız announced May 22. He added that Turkey would have had to pay up to $23.5 billion with the accumulated interest if it had lost the trial.
“Some useless leeches had tried to suck the blood of this country but we ended the struggle for our people without a stain,” Yıldız told reporters adding that the case was definitely over after the ruling of an Arbitration board. “Now the Uzan family has lost any right of appeal. The process going on [since 2006] is finalized. The trust for truth in Turkey has been highlighted.”
In 2003, Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources seized the Uzan Group’s ÇEAŞ and Kepez companies after their patent rights had been outlawed in light of an application by Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority. Following this development, Libananco Holdings Co. Ltd., which introduced itself as a company operating in the southern part of Cyprus, claimed that it was a partner of the said companies and had thus suffered losses due to the seizure. The company carried the issue to the U.S.-based International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and filed a $10 billion lawsuit against Turkey.
Turkey, meanwhile, maintains that Libananco is a front company of the Uzan group, once among the country’s most powerful conglomerates. The ICSID had ruled in favor of Turkey in 2011.
The owner of the Uzan group, Turkish businessman Cem Uzan, who currently lives in the French capital of Paris, was sentenced to 18 years and five months in prison for embezzlement last march. The businessman, turned politician before the 2001 parliamentary elections, was accused of channeling money deposits kept in Imar Bank to construction companies owned by the Uzan family.
Uzan was the former owner of Star TV, the first private broadcaster of the country, as well as the Telsim cellular phone operator and Imar Bank.