The European Court of Justice has turned down an application by Pilatus Bank for an interim remedy over claims that the European Central Bank violated its rights.
In November, Pilatus Bank made claims to the Court that the European Central Bank violated its rights after ordering that all communication between Pilatus Bank and European Central Bank be made through the ‘competent person,’ veteran US financial operator Lawrence Connell.
Mr Connell was appointed by the MFSA last month following the arrest of Pilatus chairman Ali Sadr Hasheminejad in the United States on money-laundering and sanction-busting charges. His role is to monitor the day-to-day running of the bank. Pilatus Bank argued that this appointment lacked any legal basis on national or EU law.
However, this request for an interim measure was turned down by the Court of Justice last month, on the basis that Pilatus Bank did not provide evidence to support the contention that the European Central Bank had refused to communicate with it if such communication was not channelled through Mr Connell.
“That is even more unlikely since the ECB has expressly acknowledged in its written observations that, in view of a judgment by the Court of Appeal of Malta of November 5, 2018, it will no longer request the applicant ‘to coordinate’ with the competent person its communication with the ECB,” the court said.
The Court maintained that there was no reason to believe that such a communication would be refused by the European Central Bank.
Apart from the action being taken at EU level, the bank has also brought a number of cases against the MFSA over the way it handled the case. According to legal filings by the bank, the MFSA informed it about a directive freezing all its operations through a telephone call, rather than a written notification as required by the law.