The General Court of the EU has ruled in favour of 5 Ukrainians who brought applications to annul their listings under the EU’s anti-misappropriation sanctions on Ukraine. Mykola Azarov and Sergej Arbuzov, successive Prime Ministers of Ukraine until February 2014, Mr Azarov’s son Oleksii Azarov, former Head of Administration of the President of Ukraine Sergiy Klyuyev, and former Minister for Energy and the Coal Industry of Ukraine Edward Stavytskyi were all listed on the basis that they were the subjects of preliminary investigations in Ukraine relating to the misappropriation and illegal transfer of Ukrainian State funds.
As in the case of Andriy Portnov, who successfully challenged his listing last year in the first judgment handed down on the Ukraine anti-misappropriation sanctions (see previous blog), the Court found that the sole basis for the applicants’ listings was a letter from March 2014 from the office of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General stating that investigations concerning them had made it possible to establish the misappropriation of large amounts of public funds. The Court held that the letter provided no details of the matters specifically alleged against the 5 people or the nature of their responsibility, and so the designation criteria was not satisfied. The usual costs order was made against the Council.