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Victory for YUKOS in the European Court

The European Court of Human Rights has acknowledged some of the complaints about the offense committed by the Russian authorities during legal invistigation in the case of "YUKOS".
The European Court found that the Russian Federation had violated the right of "YUKOS" to protect their assets. The Court also recognized that the case was judged in Russia unfairly. However, the Court decided that it was not a political matter, but violations were committed from 2000 to 2001. The decision on compensation is still pending.
The case of "YUKOS" was opened immediately after the deputy of the State Duma Mr. Vladimir Yudin in 2003 appealed to the Prosecutor General demanding an investigation into the legality of privatization of mining and processing enterprise "Apatite". After the prosecutor's investigation the head of "YUKOS" Mr. Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the head of the MFO "MENATEP" Mr. Platon Lebedev were arrested. Tax claims were raised to the company, in the end the company lost the primary producing enterprise "Yuganskneftegas", which was transferred to the state-owned company "Rosneft". In 2007 company "YUKOS" was dissolved as a legal entity.

In the spring of this year, the Court considered the personal complaint of Mr. Khodorkovsky for the illegal criminal prosecution. The court decided that several complaints were justified and Russia has been fined for 10,000 euros and ordered to pay the compensation for expenses amounting to 14 543 euros.
Mr. Platon Lebedev, is currently preparing for the consideration of his personal complaint to the European Court. Lawyers of Mr. Lebedev said that they would no longer try to get the release on parole in Russia, since they are going to concentrate on the proceedings in the European Court of Human Rights.

By Irina Lelina for Areti Charidemou & Associates LLC

Cooperation between Cyprus and the Seychelles

With the result of the work of the second Session of the Cyprus-Seychelles Intergovernmental Commission, a Protocol of Cooperation between the two countries was executed in Nicosia, which targets, among other things, at further enhancing and development of bilateral relations in the fields of economy and trade.

The Protocol was executed on behalf of Cyprus by the Permanent Secretary of the Planning Bureau Mr George Georghiou, who was the head of the Cyprus delegation at the talks and on behalf of the Seychelles by the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mrs Jeannette D’ Offay, who was the head of the Seychelles delegation.

Within the frame work of the Intergovernmental Commission, which was formed on the basis of the bilateral agreement for economic, scientific and technical cooperation, the cooperation accomplished so far between Cyprus and the Seychelles in number of different sectors was reviewed. Furthermore, ways and methods of further promoting and enhancing the existing friendly relations between the countries in the fields of trade, economy, investments, tourism, energy, transport, health, education and culture were studied.

By Irina Lelina for Areti Charidemou & Associates LLC

$ 150 million project between Qatar and Cyprus

The Cyprus government believes that the interest of Qatar in the investment project on the island is again gaining interest after four months of inactivity.

In May 2011 the Government of Cyprus announced the completion of the deal to build a luxury complex in Nicosia, after both parties agreed on the amount of the deal. Qatar had to finance the project and Cyprus to provide land for the building of the complex.

However, Qatar was not in a hurry to sign the final agreement, which ultimately sparked the rumours about the failure of the project. In June of this year, representatives of Qatar did not come to Cyprus as was planned, when the final agreement should have been signed, but lately, Qatar, has again begun to show their interest in the project.

As stated by a member of the Board of Directors of the Joint Cyprus-Qatari company, Mr. Andreas Pittas, in the middle of August, preparations began for the visit of representatives from Qatar to Cyprus.

The total project cost for the construction of Cyprus is 150 million U.S. dollars. In the initial stage of the project, Qatar has obliged to provide with 50 million euro to build the complex. At the same time Cyprus would receive any additional profit from the sale of the objects of the complex. It was planned that the developers from Qatar would build a five-star hotel with 220 rooms, retail and office space and luxury residential apartments. These facilities will be available to every investor. Funding for the project was planned to be provided by public funds of Cyprus and private funds of company Qatari Diar.

By Irina Lelina for Areti Charidemou & Associates LLC

Interflora against Marks & Spencer in the European Court of Justice

Company Interflora won in the European Court of Justice its case over Marks & Spencer. A decision was made by the Court of Justice of the European Union if Marks & Spencer should be allowed to use trademark of Interflora as the search engine keywords for its own flowers.

The Court of Justice took the side of Interflora, whereas the judgment of the Court of Justice has to be applied by the High Court in Great Britain to complete the issue of the liability of Marks & Spencer.

Interflora noted that this judgment goes much further than previous judgements by saying that the usage by a competitor of a keyword identical to the trade mark in regards to identical goods or services has an adverse effect on the investment in the trade mark where that usage largely interferes with the reputation of a brand and its ability to attract and retain the clients.

Marketing director of Interflora Mr Michael Barringer said: "This judgment backs all the hard work and effort we have put in to defending the Interflora brand. People searching the internet for "Interflora" want "Interflora, the flower experts" and no one else. Our brand stands for quality and service and together with our network of independent florists we have spent the last 80 years building this reputation.”

By Irina Lelina for Areti Charidemou & Associates LLC

Payment by credit cards is becoming increasingly popular

In August 2011 the volume of payments in Cyprus with the use of credit cards issued by local banks rose by 9% and reached 181 million euros. In July 2011, this figures rose by 6%. According to the results for January-August 2011, the total amount of payments through the local credit cards totalled 1.4 billion euros, registering an increase of 10%.
In August 2011, an increase of 12% was observed in the category of payments made abroad by cards issued in Cyprus. The total amount of such payments has reached 111 million euros, including purchases on the foreign websites. In July 2011, the growth of these figures was 11%.

For the first eight months of this year the total amount of overseas transactions through credit cards issued in Cyprus amounted to 883.8 million euros that is up 12% over the same period last year.
Expenses of tourists in Cyprus paid through cards issued abroad in August 2011 increased by 9%, to EUR 57 million. For the first eight months of this year tourists have spent on the island 381.5 million euros, an increase of more than 12% in comparison with the year 2010.

By Irina Lelina for Areti Charidemou & Associates LLC

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