BIONIC Hill sees court ruling on expropriation of innovation park's land as lawless

On September 8, 2015, Kyiv's Economic Court of Appeals upheld a ruling of Kyiv's Economic Court on October 22, 2014, in favor of a claim filed by the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine (PGO), having thus invalidated the allocation of a land plot by Kyiv City Council under the BIONIC Hill project.
Unlike the BIONIC Hill team, the opponents of the project pressured the court by actively distributing fake information and arranging 'protests' with the involvement of local parliamentarians. The company considers the ruling taken by Kyiv's Economic Court of Appeals as lawless and will lodge an appeal against it with the Higher Economic Court of Ukraine.
"From a legal viewpoint, the court ruling is absurd. Actually, we are speaking about expropriation by the government of a land plot which has never belonged to it. The presence of several unregistered barracks with residents who still live there on 0.15 hectares of the park's territory became a formal reason for changing the legal status of a land plot occupying 147 hectares in area. It has absolutely no legal grounds," BIONIC Hill representative in court, partner of the Gide Loyrette Nouel international law firm, Doctor of Law Oleksiy Feliv said.
He stressed that a dangerous precedent has been set, which in fact brings little trust in the government's ability to protect property rights in Ukraine. Feliv added that the government finding formal reasons to revise its own decisions several years after the right of ownership took effect is unacceptable in civilized jurisdictions.
"Gide Loyrette Nouel has great experience and high qualification in the settlement of real estate disputes and disputed land allocations by municipal authorities. If investors of the innovation park fail to protect their right to land in Ukraine, we will recommend they appeal to the European Court of Human Rights," Feliv said.
As reported, as of 2009, a land plot at 1A Ponomariova Street in Kyiv, which occupies 147.11 hectares, belonged to the Zhytlobudservice housing association, which as the owner of the property of defunct military unit No. 136, according to Article 41 of the Land Code of Ukraine, obtained the land plot in private ownership in keeping with a decision by Kyiv City Council. In 2012, the housing association was bought by the company and reorganized into Bionic Land Ltd.
On September 23, 2011, Kyiv Economic Court rejected the PGO's lawsuit to declare invalid Kyiv City Council's decision to pass the land plot to private ownership of the Zhytlobudservice housing association. Thus, it designated the allocation of the land as legal.
On February 5, 2014, Kyiv District Administrative Court confirmed the lawfulness of Kyiv City Council's decision to allocate the territory of the former military unit for the construction of the BIONIC Hill innovation park. On August, 2014, Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeals upheld this ruling.
It should be noted that public hearings were held in 2013 and the BIONIC Hill project was approved by relevant departments of Kyiv municipal authorities. The company acts in line with the Ukrainian legislation and has all relevant documents necessary for the project to be implemented. They include a state deed for the land plot, required conclusions by state experts regarding the project, approvals for the construction, a detailed area plan approved by Kyiv City Council, which envisages the development of a 'science town' on the territory of the former military unit as well as the conservation of Bilychansky forest located in the neighborhood.
The territory of the innovation park is not part of Bilychansky forest or any other forested area. The BIONIC Hill innovation park has no relation to the relocation of residents of the former military unit, which should be done by the Defense Ministry of Ukraine and companies authorized by the ministry.

Last edit: 09.09.15