Belgian Court Dislodges Attachment of Zim Gems

diamondsAntwerp: The court of First Instance in Antwerp has ruled in favour of Zimbabwe, a move which dislodged the attachment of 500 000 carats of diamonds worth over $45 million that belonged to Marange mining companies, The Herald reports.

The diamonds were seized three months ago in Belgium by a South African mining company, Amari Platinum and later by a group of Dutch former commercial farmers.

Amari had sued Zimbabwe for $500 million at the International Court of Arbitration in Paris, France, over a cancelled platinum concession dispute with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) four years ago.

“The court of First Instance in Antwerp has ruled in favour of Zimbabwe, dislodging the attachment of the diamonds belonging to mining companies,” said Farai Mutamangira, a government lawyer was quoted as saying by The Herald.

“Hence the court has issued a declaratory, upholding that the diamonds should be returned to the mining companies after ruling.”

He said the court told Amari that the diamonds belonged to mining companies and not the Zimbabwean government and ZMDC.

Meanwhile, Mutamangira said the repatriation of the diamonds would be done after December 18 since the former commercial farmers’ case would be brought on December 18.

The Dutch farmers had approached the European Union court to seize the Zimbabwean diamonds, following the success of Amari’s court application in Paris.

They are demanding that $54 million be awarded to them for Settlement of Investment after they lost farms that were distributed by Government to landless Zimbabweans. However, with the crumbling of Amari’s case, the farmers would likely meet the same fate.