Dealmaker: Al Yousef

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28 September, 2018

Today WikiLeaks publishes a mystery record from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration, concerning a dispute over fee charge in terms of a $3.6 billion hands deal among French state-owned agency GIAT Industries SA (now Nexter Systems) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The settlement turned into for the sale of 388 Leclerc fight tanks, forty six armoured vehicles, 2 education tanks, spare elements and ammunition. It turned into signed in 1993 and scheduled to be finished in 2008.

The case added earlier than the ICC arbitration tribunal turned into a declare from Abbas Ibrahim Yousef Al Yousef, a UAE businessman, that GIAT had now no longer honoured a agreement to pay him a 6,5% fee at the deal or almost $235 million total. GIAT stopped paying after sending Al Yousef over $195 million thru his agency Kenoza Consulting & Management Inc., which turned into registered withinside the British Virgin Islands. Al Yousef demanded the nearly $forty million that remained outstanding.

GIAT’s legal professionals maintained that they needed to prevent bills as they have become unlawful whilst the OECD Anti-Corruption Convention turned into transposed into French regulation withinside the yr 2000. They claimed “Kenoza meant to dedicate and certainly devoted corruption acts”. Al Yousef firmly denied that any a part of the fee were used to bribe UAE officers or utilized in any corrupt acts. As GIAT did now no longer produce any proof for the declare, the ICC Tribunal did now no longer rule on the difficulty however cited that “…if the immoderate nature of the reimbursement for the Claimants carrier should be taken as proof of a corrupt motive of the Agency Agreement, this motive should were recognised and meant through each Parties to the settlement”.

The Tribunal did look at what offerings Al Yousef supplied to justify the immoderate fee. Despite claims to the contrary, the Tribunal observed that Al Yousef did now no longer play an critical function withinside the improvement of the Leclerc tank. The tanks have been outfitted with German engines, which created an impediment as this will violate legal guidelines forbidding German hands income to the Middle East. Al Yousef claimed he had efficiently lobbied German government to gain a waiver from those legal guidelines in “…a technique which concerned choice makers at the very best levels, each in France and Germany”. During a witness statement, Al Yousef couldn’t recall the names of any German officers and advised the Tribunal he had used lobbyists in preference to assembly with German government directly.

Surprisingly, Al Yousef advised the Tribunal that had he been on a retainer, he might have requested GIAT to pay him one million bucks a month as a consultant. That might have added him $fifty one million to $60 million as opposed to nearly $235 million. As a result, the Tribunal concluded that “…the contractual fee charges is a ways above whatever that might be justified (…). The remuneration is immoderate through the same old which Mr Al Yousef himself set and through any preferred which turned into raised withinside the arbitration”. His claims have been brushed off and Al Yousef turned into ordered to pay the complete price of arbitration through the Tribunal ($550 000) plus a part of GIAT’s prison costs (€a hundred and fifteen 000).

Joseph A. Farrell contributed to this article.

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