Malaysia's former PM Najib questioned ahead of pre-trial hearing

The'Equanimity, now returned to MalaysiaMore

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has challenged any party wanting to claim ownership of the seized luxury super yacht Equanimity, which has been returned by Indonesian authorities to the Malaysian government, to come forward and furnish proof of their claim.

"We want to know where they obtained so much money to buy such an expensive yacht", he said in a Facebook video on Monday.

Sources in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) confirmed that the former prime minister will have a new set of charges against him.

"We believe the ship is owned by the Malaysian government because it was bought by Malaysian money that was stolen by certain parties", Mahathir said.

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The DoJ has sought to take custody of the Equanimity, after it was seized by Indonesia in February at the request of US authorities as part of a multi-billion dollar anti-kleptocracy investigation into 1MDB.

The $250m boat was allegedly bought with money stolen from 1MDB.

The announcement came after Najib, who suffered a shock defeat in May elections, was summoned for a new round of questioning by the anti-corruption agency.

1MDB is being investigated by at least six countries, including Singapore, Switzerland and the United States, over alleged money laundering and graft. US investigators said Low, known widely as Jho Low, bought the yacht with proceeds diverted from 1MDB.

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The U.S. Department of Justice says an estimated $4.5 billion (£3.4 billion) was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates.

On Sunday, Low issued a statement through his lawyers condemning Malaysia's possession of the yacht, claiming the move was "politically motivated" and that the decision went against court rulings in the USA and Indonesia.

Thomas said the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) had invoked the Admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur against the superyacht.

He said Indonesia, Malaysia and the US recently activated the mutual legal assistance treaties among themselves. However, after this, his statement will be recorded as the one accused. This was followed by a warrant of arrest issued by Malaysia's High court on Monday that led to the handover, he said.

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