New wave of manipulations using the Parimatch brand
We clarify the information surrounding the latest media wave regarding the alleged lawsuit by the Parimatch brand against Volodymyr Zelensky. As indicated in the court registry, this concerns one of the companies within the structure of Ukrainian assets of the Parimatch group – Weplay Media Holding Limited. The Parimatch group of companies has declared from the very beginning that it has become a victim of unjust sanctions imposed as a result of an erroneous and unfair process. The decision to file a lawsuit was influenced by several factors:
Firstly, filing a lawsuit is the only formal avenue for challenging sanctions within the legal and judicial framework of Ukraine. We have asserted before and reaffirm now that we will utilize all available legal means to annul the unjust sanctions imposed on the Parimatch brand. The decision to impose sanctions was initially based on questionable and unconvincing evidence, and we are confident that Ukrainian judges will confirm this as a fact once all relevant arguments and evidence are considered.
Secondly, only the President of Ukraine represents the state and serves as the guarantor of the Constitution. Therefore, the lawsuit is specifically addressed in his name. Although we demand a judicial review of the entire process, which includes numerous factual arguments and the involvement of other state bodies, the current Ukrainian law leaves us with no choice but to name the President as the defendant in this lawsuit. We want to make it absolutely clear that this legal action is in no way directed against the person of the President of Ukraine, except for the fact that he signed the National Security and Defense Council’s decision on sanctions.
Thirdly, the manipulation that suing the President of Ukraine is equivalent to suing the state has no basis. On the contrary, with this case, we are defending a large Ukrainian business entity that paid taxes, created jobs, and provided help to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Today, we are guided solely by the legal norms of Ukraine because we believe in the rule of law and in a fair decision to protect the company, shareholders, and the interests of Ukrainians who supported the petition to lift the sanctions.
We postponed filing the lawsuit until the last possible moment, hoping to receive a response from the government authorities regarding our numerous inquiries about the grounds for imposing sanctions. However, we did not receive any response for six months. Therefore, the decision to turn to the court was also motivated by our desire to, through legal proceedings, uncover the details on which the accusations are based.
If we had not filed a complaint with the court, we would have lost the right to challenge the unlawful decision regarding sanctions against Parimatch both in Ukraine and abroad. For these reasons, we made the difficult decision to file this lawsuit to protect our legal position.
Explanation regarding the lawsuit
Weplay Media Holding Limited owns intellectual property assets such as trademarks and software and holds a share in the charter capital of LLC “Pokermatch.ua.” This information is publicly available and accessible to everyone through the provided link.
The lawsuit was filed by Weplay Media Holding Limited to the Supreme Court as the court of the first instance with an administrative claim against the President of Ukraine for the cancellation of his Decree No. 145/2023 “On the Decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine dated March 10, 2023, on the Application and Amendment of Personal Special Economic and Other Restrictive Measures (Sanctions)” exclusively concerning the implementation of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions) against Weplay Media Holding Limited. The ability to appeal to the Supreme Court is a constitutional right of any individual or company and is a hallmark of a genuinely legal and democratic state in which every person has the right to defend their rights and interests both against other individuals and the state. In this case, this right is provided for by a separate article of the Code of Administrative Procedure of Ukraine (Article 266) and Article 59 of the Constitution of Ukraine.
The company Weplay Media Holding Limited states in the lawsuit that it does not cooperate with the aggressor state, its citizens, and/or residents. The beneficial owners of Weplay Media Holding Limited are Ukrainian citizens, and among the shareholders, there are no residents of the aggressor state. This fact, in particular, was verified by the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries when issuing the license. Obtaining a license for organizing and conducting gambling activities in poker on the Internet by LLC “Pokermatch.ua” was subject to the mandatory condition of having no connections with the aggressor country, based on the decision of the Commission.
The company Weplay Media Holding Limited also suggests that the President of Ukraine may not have had complete information when signing the disputed Decree imposing sanctions against the Parimatch brand and may not have clarified all the circumstances that served as the basis for applying unlawful sanctions. The suing company requests, rather than demands, as reported in the media, to recognize such a Decree as unlawful and invalid specifically in the part regarding the imposition of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions) against Weplay Media Holding Limited because its activities do not pose a threat to the national security of Ukraine.
The struggle of the Parimatch brand to have the unlawful sanctions lifted and to return funds to clients, which remain fully on bank accounts, is taking place exclusively within the legal framework of Ukraine. We emphasize once again that Parimatch is a brand with Ukrainian roots and has never taken actions that create real or potential risks to the national interests, national security, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine or any other state. Instead, it has consistently highlighted the Ukrainian origin of the brand and the company, as well as the absence of any connections with russia or belarus.
We call on all journalists and editors to carefully verify the sources of information and adhere to journalistic ethics and standards, refraining from disseminating unverified or blatantly distorted (manipulative) information.
Glory to Ukraine!