LONDON, March 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
The lawfulness of the DOJ's actions is being challenged in Indonesian and U.S. courts under both countries' laws. Claimants, who are the rightful owners of the vessel, believe that the DOJ and the Indonesian authorities have acted outside the bounds of legal rules in their respective nations, and Claimants have filed documents in the courts of both countries to demonstrate this.
The DOJ put its own case regarding the vessel on hold last year, and since that time has taken no steps to move the case forward or to prove that any impropriety has occurred. However, while the court-ordered stay was in effect, the DOJ attempted to seize the vessel in Indonesia.
The DOJ's recent filing in California is an attempt to use disputed allegations of historic conduct to paper over its own unlawful conduct in Indonesia. As shown in Claimants' court filings, the DOJ's proposed course of action will drastically reduce the vessel's value and expose the vessel and its crew to dangers at sea. This is completely unnecessary, because Claimants have always been, and remain, ready and willing to have the vessel sold while the DOJ's case is pending, provided that the sale is conducted under readily-achievable market conditions that will reflect the vessel's true market value and generate a fair price. The approach taken by the DOJ will only damage the value of a vessel that it has yet to demonstrate any legal right to claim.
The DOJ has not sought possession of the vessel by approaching the Claimant, who has given undertakings to co-operate with the DOJ and the US Court, the yacht management company responsible for the vessel or, it appears, the flag state of the vessel. Although it could have taken any of these courses of action at any time, the DOJ instead opted for a needlessly costly and ill-conceived seizure in Indonesian waters that jeopardizes the value of the vessel.
On Wednesday, the Claimants, the owners of the vessel, filed a reply to correct factual misstatements and mischaracterizations in the Government's latest filing. Contrary to the assertions made in the Government's filing, the location of the vessel has never been a secret nor have the Claimants taken steps to jeopardize the vessel's value. The Government has not taken any steps to prove its case or entitlement to the vessel, and there have been no findings that any wrongdoing occurred. The Claimants, as owners of the vessel, intend to continue to protect their rights and their property.
Notes to editors:
Equanimity (Cayman) Limited is the legal owner of the vessel Equanimity and is the Claimant in the DOJ forfeiture actions.
SOURCE Equanimity (Cayman) Limited