Friday, May 27, 2022

US wins latest legal battle to seize Russian yacht in Fiji

The US has won the "latest round" of a legal battle to seize a $325m Russian-owned superyacht in Fiji, with the case now appearing headed for the Pacific nation’s top court.

Fiji’s Court of Appeal on Friday dismissed an appeal by Feizal Haniff, who represents the company that legally owns the superyacht Amadea. Haniff had argued the US had no jurisdiction under Fiji’s mutual assistance laws to seize the vessel, at least until a court sorted out who really owned the Amadea.

The US argues that its investigation has found that behind various fronts, the Cayman Islands-flagged luxury yacht is really owned by the sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, an economist and former Russian politician.

Haniff said he now plans to take the case to Fiji’s Supreme Court and will apply for a court order to stop US agents from sailing the Amadea from Fiji before the appeal is heard.

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