Amsterdam court grants Ukraine's request to challenge judge in Scythian gold case
Amsterdam Court of Appeal has granted the request of Ukraine to challenge one of the judges in the Scythian gold case.
"The demand of the Ukrainian side on the withdrawal of Duco Oranje, judge of Amsterdam Court of Appeal, was satisfied," the court said on its website. In September 2019, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine said that, due to a number of circumstances, the judge of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal considering the case may be biased. Thus, for several years the judge represented the interests of the Russian company Promneftstroy in the case against the Yukos company, therefore, he actually defended the interests of the Russian Federation as the main stakeholder in resolving the case in favor of Promneftstroy. In addition, he represented the interests of Promneftstroy in close cooperation with lawyers who represent the interests of Crimean museums. However, then the court refused to challenge the judge.
As reported, the exhibition "Crimea. Golden Island in the Black Sea," representing a collection of Scythian gold jewelry, was formed in the Allard Pierson Museum of the University of Amsterdam from the collections of five museums, one of which is located in Kyiv, four in Crimea. Since the Netherlands did not recognize the Russian annexation of Crimea, which took place after the opening of the exhibition, the issue arose of who will return the collection of 565 museum items with a total insurance value of EUR 10 million.
The part of the collection belonging to Crimean museums was claimed by the Russian Federation after the occupation. Ukraine, in turn, declares that "the exhibits cannot be returned to the occupied territory, which is temporarily not under Ukrainian control, they must be transferred directly to the state of Ukraine."