NEW YORK (CN) – The Congo’s national oil company is immune from claims that it failed to repay more than $30 million in loans to a New York-based investment firm, the Second Circuit ruled.
Kensington International Ltd. has no power to collect the debt, the circuit ruled, because the Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo is protected by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The court remanded to determine whether Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, chairman of the oil company when it borrowed the money in the early 1980s, is also immune under the Act. The Congo has failed to make any payments since October 1985. See ruling in Kensington International Ltd. v. Itoua.