Author: Dr. Angelika Hellweger 3 April 2023
The difficulties involved in seizing state assets were the subject of an article by Angelika Hellweger.
In her piece, which was published by Law360, Angelika emphasises that such action involves legal matters such as the risk of violating international norms regarding sovereign immunity.
Her article illustrates some of the potential difficulties by citing a US case that concerns the seizure of Afghanistan's central bank assets. The US claimants are arguing that allegedly the Taliban was to blame for the 9/11 terror attacks on the US, although this argument does not reflect reality . The US has come under fire for withholding the cash unjustly at a time when Afghans are suffering the worst humanitarian crisis, leading to accusations that the US is stealing Afghanistan's money or even pursuing actions that are tantamount to mass murder.
Angelika assesses some of the possible implications of the case and concludes that seizure of state assets will continue to be a highly-disputed topic because such action is an irreversible measure that runs against the aim of international law.
Angelika also outlines how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted discussion of how Russian state assets could be confiscated and used to help rebuild Ukraine.
The article can be read on Law360 (subscription required).
Angelika is a specialist in international, high-level economic crime investigations and large-scale commercial disputes. She has widely-recognised expertise in representing corporates and conglomerates in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and United States.