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On May 30, the Western Commercial Court of Appeal held a hearing on the appeal filed by the Lviv City Council against the Galinvest Joint Ukrainian-Austrian Enterprise Limited Liability Company. According to Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi, the subject of the dispute is land and property in the center of Lviv (the Dobrobut market), which was allegedly cynically stolen from the city. According to the mayor, its total cost is over UAH 500 million.
It is worth noting that the Lviv City Council lost the court case in the first instance, and the claims were dismissed in full. However, the Western Commercial Court of Appeal failed to put an end to the dispute during the hearing. So the meeting was postponed.
“But what is really disturbing is that despite the fact that the land plot was granted to the Galinvest JV back in 1990, and the city council approved the location of the industrial and food market in 1999, Andriy Sadovyi did not see this as a problem for 15 years as mayor,” writes 4 Studio.
According to lawyer Yevhen Leik, the Ukrainian-Austrian Joint Venture Galinvest LLC is owned by an Austrian company, and the ultimate beneficiary is Valeriy Kholodilo, a resident of Lviv. He also added that the Dobrobut market plot belongs to the city “and has always belonged to it.” According to him, this is evidenced by entries in the Unified State Register. Also, according to Lake, every mayor of Lviv allegedly “took some part in signing documents related to this story.”
In turn, Galinvest responded to the video message from Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi.
“…Sadovyi did not notice “gross violations” during his 16 years as mayor of Lviv and did not challenge the legal grounds for the Dobrobut market in the center of Lviv. And only now he has loudly announced the alleged “gross violations”. Such a time-slowed vigilance of an official can only indicate the presence of an ulterior motive in his actions, and, in fact, the desire to seize our property and business. “SUAP GALINVEST LLC, represented by its owners, did not believe until the last that the reason for the current conflict with the mayor of Lviv, which began in 2022, was the probable failure to receive a “share” in our company, which we had been warned about on several occasions.” – the company said in an open letter.
They called on Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi to refrain from manipulating the case.
“We are frightened by the fact that in a state governed by the rule of law, the head of the city’s community initiated a lawsuit under a false pretext to create legal grounds for the possible seizure of a private enterprise and to achieve his business interests, for which he threatens to use the Lynch court ,” the open letter says.
Lviv media outlets write that Sadovyi’s actions look like manipulation, as the official could not have been unaware of the situation with the property in the city center.
“So was Sadovyi involved with the Dobrobut market all these years of his mayoralty, and when he smelled something fried, he decided to appeal to the Prosecutor General’s Office over the alleged theft of municipal property on the site of the former Dobrobut market? But it is not entirely clear why Sadovyi recalled the almost 20-year-long story of litigation now. It seems that as long as Andriy Ivanovych was in business with the owner of the Dobrobut market, Valeriy Kholodilo, the land plot in the very center of Lviv was not of interest to the city hall officials.” – writes Fourth Studio.