* Ukrainian moguls sue govt over cancelled privatisation
* Steel mill in question now belongs to ArcelorMittal
KIEV, June 6 A Ukrainian court has renewed
proceedings in a long-frozen trial in which two local
businessmen are challenging the nationalisation of a large steel
mill which has since been sold to ArcelorMittal, court
ArcelorMittal bought the Kryviy Rih steel mill for about
$4.8 billion at an open tender in 2005 after a newly-elected
government cancelled its sale to Ukrainian steel moguls Rinat
Akhmetov and Viktor Pinchuk for $800 million a year earlier.
The re-sale was one of the first major moves by the
government of Yulia Tymoshenko who became prime minister after
leading the 2004 Orange Revolution protests against
then-president Leonid Kuchma and his would-be successor Viktor
Akhmetov, Ukraine's wealthiest man and Yanukovich's key
backer, and Pinchuk, also a billionaire and Kuchma's son-in-law,
sued the government then but their lawsuit was shelved in 2005.
Tymoshenko quickly fell out with her Orange ally Viktor
Yushchenko who became president in 2005. In the next election in
2010, she ran for the presidency herself but lost narrowly to
Yanukovich's backers such as Akhmetov and Dmytro Firtash,
another billionaire industrialist, have since successfully
challenged government decisions made under Tymoshenko, winning
compensation or having their revoked licences renewed.
In the Kryviy Rih steel mill case, a joint venture set up by
Akhmetov and Pinchuk's companies is suing the State Property
Fund over its decision to cancel the plant's sale to them and
wants it overturned.
The court renewed proceedings in the case on May 22 and was
due to hold a hearing on June 4 but has not published any
The State Property Fund had no immediate comment on the
Tymoshenko is now serving a seven-year jail sentence for
abuse of office over her role in a gas deal with Russia while
she was prime minister. The European Union has said her sentence
smacks of political revenge by President Yanukovich.
(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov, editing by Gareth Jones)