YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Government of Armenia has no legal bases for holding legal proceedings against Trans World Telecom (TWT) and Trans World Telecom Holding (TWTH) because OTE of Greece bears full responsibility for all tax-related misunderstandings–stated a representative of these companies in while commenting on the lawsuit filed by the Armenian Government against TWT–TWTH and OTE–the owner of 90 percent of ArmenTel’s shares.
The Government’s tax claim emerged through the deferred payment of capital raised during the sale of ArmenTel’s shares which added penalties and interest totaling to $18 million.
The interests of TWT and TWTH are represented by Van Krikorian and Arax Consulting Co. Arax Consulting Co. president Ashot Poghossian said the powers of Arax and Krikorian are restricted to appealing the jurisdiction. Krikorian is the chairman of the Armenian Assembly of America.
According to Poghossian–the fact that litigation between the sides was started earlier at the Court of Arbitration of the London International Chamber of Commerce on February 10–1999 may also serve as a basis for dismissing the case. At the request of OTE the case was re-opened on April 29 to draw the Armenian Government in.
Poghossian said that under the agreement on the sale of ArmenTel’s shares–the sides–including the Government of Armenia–pledged to trust this international judicial body to resolve any disputes that arise. The petition on non-jurisdiction was declined by a court in Yerevan’s Kentron and Nor Nork districts.
The hearing will proceed on August 10.
The government of Armenia filed suit against TWT for failure to pay taxes following the sale of ArmenTel to the Greek OTE. Armenia is being represented by the LA-based firm of Mannat Phelps & Phillips.