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DOJ seeks to suspend US court proceedings over Jho Low's luxury yacht Equanimity


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 7 Aug 2018

PETALING JAYA: The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) wants to suspend court proceedings in the country that are related to the superyacht Equanimity, reported Malaysiakini.

"The (US) government has learned that the defendant yacht has been released by the Indonesian government to the government of Malaysia, and has left Indonesian waters. It is the government's understanding that a warrant was obtained in Indonesia authorising the turnover.

"The government proposes that all proceedings in this action be suspended in order to give the government and any interested claimant the opportunity to inquire of Malaysia through formal channels what its intentions are with respect to the defendant yacht," the DOJ said in a notice filed at the California Central District Court.

The RM1bil Equanimity is expected to arrive at Port Klang soon after spending a day in Batam, Indonesia, on Monday (Aug 6).

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad thanked Indonesia for the good news, though he said if fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, could prove that he had purchased the billion-ringgit yacht with his own money, he could get it back.

The Equanimity was seized in Bali in February at the request of US authorities as part of a multibillion-­dollar corruption investigation launched by the Department of Justice over 1MDB.

However, a Jakarta court ruling in April declared that the yacht was wrongfully impounded and it was released to its owners after they obtained a court motion to declare that the seizure was illegal.

But the vessel was not allowed to leave the Tanjung Benoa port.

Last month, Indonesian police seized the yacht again following a formal request for legal assistance from the United States.

Reuters reported that the decision by the Indonesian government to hand over the yacht to Malaysia was reached following a personal request made by Dr Mahathir, who visited Indonesia in June.

   

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