PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has once again showed that the proper legal process has no place in his regime, said a spokesman for fugitive businessman Jho Taek Low, also known as Jho Low.
On Saturday (Aug 11), the Prime Minister said the RM1bil Equanimity would be sold “ASAP” to the highest bidder to recover stolen money used to buy the superyacht.
Dr Mahathir said the US Department of Justice (DoJ) had assured Malaysia that the yacht belongs to Jho Low, bought using money stolen from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Responding to the Prime Minister’s remarks that the US had proven its case against Equanimity (Cayman) Ltd, the spokesman said that Jho Low had been declared guilty by Dr Mahathir's regime before a single piece of evidence has been produced in US courts.
According to Jho Low's spokesman, the US has not proven anything.
"The truth is this: the US filed unproven allegations in a civil forfeiture complaint more than a year ago - then halted the proceedings before any party had any meaningful chance to respond.
“The allegations have ricocheted around the world for more than a year, repeated thousands of times,” said the spokesman in a statement released through his attorneys on Sunday (Aug 12).
The Equanimity is currently docked at the Boustead Cruise Centre in Pulau Indah, Port Klang.
The spokesman, however, pointed out that the legal team appointed by Malaysia's Attorney General said it could take up to nine months to identify the owner of Equanimity through the Malaysian court process.
“Mahathir now seems to be saying there will be no such process. Mahathir has contended that the US agreed Malaysia can keep the boat.
"But the US has said the opposite in court filings. Mahathir is not complying with either US or Indonesian court rulings; he is ignoring the law solely for political purposes,” said the spokesman.
The spokesman added that the illegal taking of the yacht makes it impossible to sell it for fair value because of the still-open legal questions and the legal repercussions for any new owner.
The spokesman claimed that Dr Mahathir’s regime has yet to explain the fact that while the US had stated in court filings it had no knowledge of the seizure of Equanimity, the Malaysian Attorney General said it was done after “sensitive and delicate negotiations with the US.”
“It is clear that the Malaysian government is lying and putting words into the US’ mouth."These repeated misstatements by Malaysia are embarrassing the US, which has stressed it has no involvement in the illegal seizure of the vessel and will update the US court on Aug 17,” said the spokesman.