Bitel LLC v Kyrgyz Mobil Tel Limited


Reference:
High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man, Case No. CA 2006/07

Date:
30th November 2007

Court:
High Court, Isle of Man

Comment:

Acted for Altimo Holdings and Investment Limited (a BVI company), OOO Altimo (a Russian company) and Sky Mobile LLC (a Kyrgyz company) (the "Alfa Parties"). Bitel LLC, a key mobile telecommunications operator in the Kyrgyz Republic, commenced proceedings in the Isle of Man to enforce against the Defendant Isle of Man companies a multi-million dollar judgment which had been obtained against them in the Kyrgyz Republic. The Defendant Isle of Man companies counterclaimed against Bitel and against 13 other companies incorporated in various jurisdictions, alleging a fraudulent conspiracy and that the relevant Kyrgyz judgments had been obtained by fraud and that to enforce them in the Isle of Man would be contrary to public policy. The Defendants alleged that they were the rightful owners of the shares in Bitel and the assets of Bitel, and that it was not possible to obtain justice in the Kyrgyz Republic because the executive and judiciary in the Kyrgyz Republic (including the Supreme Court) were systemically corrupt. The Defendants obtained leave ex parte to serve the Counterclaim out of the jurisdiction on the Alfa Parties. The Alfa Parties applied to set aside that leave on the basis that the Courts of the Isle of Man were not the most appropriate forum for the determination of the issues raised as the claims were more closely connected with the Kyrgyz Republic.


Held:

Leave to serve the proceedings out of the jurisdiction would be set aside. The Courts of the Isle of Man were not the most appropriate forum for the determination of the issues raised.

Challenge to jurisdiction of High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man -alleged systemic corruption in the executive and judiciary of the Kyrgyz Republic - possibility of obtaining justice in the Kyrgyz Republic - whether Isle of Man was the most appropriate forum for the determination of the issues raised.

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