Anatolie Stati - Gabriel Stati - Ascom Group SA - Terra Raf Trans Traiding Ltd v Republic of Kazakhstan - United States District Court for the District of Columbia - Civil Action No 14-CV-1638 Order - 19 March 2021
This case was filed in September 2014 by Anatolie Stati, Gabriel Stati, Ascom Group, S.A., and Terra Raf Trans Traiding Ltd. ("the Stati Parties"). In it, the Stati Parties sought to confirm an international arbitral award that they had obtained against the Republic of Kazakhstan, arising out of their development of oil and gas fields in Kazakhstan, which Kazakhstan allegedly expropriated. Compl. [Dkt. # 1]. In October 2017, while the original case was pending, Kazakhstan turned around and sued the Stati Parties in this Court, alleging that the Stati Parties submitted false testimony and evidence to the arbitral tribunal in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") Act. See Compl. ¶¶ 7, 296, Rep. of Kaz. v. Stati, No. 17-cv-2067 (ABJ) (D.D.C. October 5, 2017).
The Court notes that Kazakhstan's complaint against the Argentem Parties asserts claims under state law as well as English law, see NY Compl. ¶¶ 227-59, while the Court's decision confirming the arbitration award was based solely on the application of the Federal Arbitration Act and the New York Convention. See Stati, 302 F. Supp. 3d at 202, 209. While it touched upon Kazakhstan's allegations of fraud, it did not involve the Argentem Parties or consideration of any state claims against those parties - much less any claims under English law. See id. Further, the Court's decision in the racketeering case was based on the sufficiency of the federal claims in the complaint filed against the Stati Parties on their face, and it expressly did not address the validity of any state law claims. See Rep. of Kaz., 380 F. Supp. 3d at 61-63, 65.
Given those circumstances, the Court has grounds to question whether an injunction would be appropriate, and in accordance with the guidance set down by the Supreme Court, it finds that the state court is better positioned to determine whether Kazakhstan's claims are precluded. See Atl. Coast Line R. Co., 398 U.S. at 297 ("Any doubts as to the propriety of a federal injunction against state court proceedings should be resolved in favor of permitting the state courts to proceed in an orderly fashion to finally determine the controversy.").
Accordingly, the Court in its discretion hereby DENIES the Argentem Parties' Motion for Leave to File Motion for Preliminary and Permanent Injunctive Relief [Dkt. # 153].