On 22nd March, Herbert Smith Freehills published an article saying that the Court of Appeal has upheld a first instance decision requiring the claimant Iranian bank to produce customer documents in unredacted form, subject to measures to protect their confidentiality, despite the fact that compliance would put the claimant in breach of Iranian law; and, it says, gives a helpful illustration of the court’s approach where a party asserts that the production of documents under its disclosure obligations will contravene foreign criminal law. The article contrasts this decision with that of the High Court where the court declined to grant a party permission to use documents received on disclosure in the English litigation in order to comply with a US grand jury subpoena. It says that the decisions highlight the difficulties that may be faced by a party that finds itself caught between conflicting obligations in this way.
NK News on 26th March reported that the forwarder, Müller + Partner, was previously linked to companies accused of luxury goods shipments to DPRK; and it failed to respond to multiple inquiries by the UN Panel of Experts regarding its role in the transport of sanctioned goods to North Korea, the Panel’s latest report indicates. Müller + Partner, which says it received an “operation license for Pyongyang, North Korea” in 2000, was linked in the report to Singaporean firms OCN and T Specialist, both of which are under investigation for exporting sanctioned luxury goods to the DPRK.
On 25th March, the Saudi Gazette reported that France has banned flights in and out of the country by Iran’s Mahan Air, following Germany in doing so, and following pressure from the US. The French ban on the airline, which had 4 flights a week to Paris from Tehran, takes effect from April 1st, and the airline’s website is no longer taking reservations and calls to its offices in Paris were not answered. Mahan Air, established in 1992 as Iran’s first private airline, has the country’s largest fleet of aircraft and has flights to a number of European countries, including France, Italy, Spain and Greece.