The Swiss Federal Supreme Court has rejected a request by the Croatian Government to review a ruling by the Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) which dismissed Croatian claims against Hungarian oil and gas company MOL in a case regarding management rights in Croatian oil company INA.
In December 2016, the Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has ruled in favor of MOL in an arbitration proceeding brought by Croatia. Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said that the Arbitral Tribunal has ruled that the evidence presented is not sufficient to prove that the agreements signed in 2009 are the result of the corruption activities and refused to nullify them, adding that the Government is strongly opposed to the ruling and it is considering all legal options to contest it.
In late 2017, the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland rejected Croatia’s request for the annulment of the ruling of the UNCITRAL Arbitral Tribunal from December 2016, which dismissed as unfounded Croatia’s claims against the Hungarian oil and gas company MOL regarding the jointly owned oil company INA. The Swiss federal court has not delved into the assessment of the merits of Croatia’s claim, and the court pointed to excerpts of the Croatia-MOL agreement on managing MOL’s peer in Croatia. Croatia insisted on the annulment of the agreement, claiming that the document was a result of corruptive activities.
In December 2021, the Croatian Government once again requested the review of UNCITRAL’s 2016 ruling by the Swiss court.
Hungarian MOL is the largest shareholder in INA with a 49.08 % stake, followed by the Croatian Government with 44.84 %. In late 2016, Croatian Government announced that it is going to buy back MOL’s shares in INA, however, their offer was rejected by MOL as too low.