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Emfesz CEO alleges concerning connection between former owner and Swedish arbitration court counsel

Hungarian gas trader Emfesz will not pay its former parent company the more than $527 million ordered by a Swedish arbitration court because of a concerning connection between the company's owner, Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash, and the court's chief counsel, Emfesz CEO István Góczi said in Tuesday's issue of daily Népszabadság.

Firtash owes Emfesz about just as much as the court ordered it to pay RosUkrEnergo, Góczi said. The decision must still be confirmed in a civil court, he added.

Góczi said Emfesz has about HUF 100 billion in receivables.

Emfesz was ordered to pay RosUkrEnergo $527.3 million plus interest by an arbitration court in Stockholm, Russian business daily Vedomosti reported on Monday. The decision must next be confirmed by a court in Hungary.

Emfesz will appeal the decision in Sweden and in Hungary, Góczi told Vedmosti.

RosUkrEnergo is a joint venture established earlier by Russia's Gazprom and Firtash to sell Russian gas in Europe. The company was cut out of the picture in 2009, after Kiev and Moscow reached an agreement that removed the middleman from sales of Russian gas delivered through Ukraine.

The deal left Emfesz without its supplier, but the company still managed to take delivery of 350 million cubic meters of gas between January and April of 2009.

Góczi, availing of an earlier authorisation, later sold Emfesz to Rosgaz, a Russian-owned company registered in Switzerland, for a token price of $1.