Putrajaya will seek a court declaration that 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is the owner of the seized superyacht Equanimity.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the government intends to clarify that 1MDB is the owner of the yacht to enable it to sell her.
“The government’s objective is to ask for the ship to be sold and a declaration that 1MDB is the legal and beneficial owner of the vessel or part owner in proportion to its respective shares, to the extent that the money and properties used by 1MDB on behalf of the defendant to buy the ship,” he said in reply to a question by Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang) today.
“We are also seeking a court order for the proceeds of the sale of the vessel to be given to the 1MDB group in accordance with and to the extent of the ownership of the vessel.”
Liew added that all these had been filed in court through the arrest warrant and supporting affidavit.
He said the seizure was made according to Malaysian procedures and laws. He denied claims that the action by the government was illegal.
Liew said the yacht was handed over to Malaysia by Indonesia as agreed to by the United States government.
“The detention of Equanimity was made according to Malaysian legal procedures and the claim is baseless,” he said.
“On a request by the Malaysian government, the Kuala Lumpur High Court granted a warrant of detention or arrest warrant against Equanimity which was served when the ship arrived at Port Klang on Aug 7, 2018.”
Azalina had sought clarification from the government on allegations by Jho Low’s lawyer that the action by the Malaysian government in sealing Equanimity was unlawful.
Liew said the government was still waiting for Jho Low, who was said to have bought the ship using funds misappropriated from 1MDB, to claim it.
It has been reported that Jho Low had accused Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of “hijacking” the legal proceedings of other countries in order to acquire the Equanimity.