Clarification: The ICC’s International Arbitral tribunal orders the Republic of Cyprus to permit access to FBME’s Premises to the Bank’s Owners and Directors

7 August 2016

By two decisions dated 27 May and 26 July 2016, the Arbitral Tribunal constituted in the ICC arbitration opposing Messrs. Ayoub Farid Michel Saab and Fadi Saab, the owners of FBME, to the Republic of Cyprus, decided that the Claimants shall be granted access to the premises of the Branch during regular business hours.  Various public statements have recently been issued by the Cypriot authorities in relation to these decisions.  These statements can only be characterised as misleading.

Contrary to the impression that this statements seek to create, the Arbitral Tribunal granted access to the Branch’s premises to all those who requested it, namely the Claimants, Messrs. Ayoub Farid Michel and Fadi Saab.

In addition, if the Arbitral Tribunal declined to intervene on an interim basis in the liquidation of the Branch, that issue is very much alive and will be examined with the merits of the case.

The statements also fail to mention that the decision to liquidate the Branch is currently challenged before the Cypriot courts such that the de facto liquidation currently carried out and all related actions or decisions are without warrant in law.

The Arbitral Tribunal’s decisions are binding on the Republic of Cyprus, and the Republic of Cyprus has no authority to alter their substance be it by way of public statement or otherwise.