Editorial Staff
7 months ago

Editorial Staff
7 months ago

Government Files Counter Appeal in Alfa Nero Legal Battle

The Alfa Nero moments after it was siezed by Antigua and Barbuda (Photo by Wayne Mariette)

The legal woes facing the sale completion of the Alfa Nero have just gotten a little more complicated, after news this morning that the government has filed a counter-appeal in the ongoing legal action

In its Monday mornings publication, the Daily Observer quoted Dr David Dorsett, the attorney representing Yulia Guryeva-Motlokhov who has an interest in the boat.

He said, according to the OBSERVER, that “the government has sought to challenge the judge’s ruling that there was a serious issue to be tried on the question of whether Section 38A of the Port Authority Act—an amendment passed in early February—contradicted section nine of the Constitution which prohibits the deprivation of property without proper compensation”.

The attorney representing the government KC Anthony Astaphan also confirmed the news.

“The counter-appeal is in relation to the appeal by Dr. Dorsett’s client, the daughter of the Russian oligarch. The appeal from the refusal of the judge to grant the injunction and our cross-appeal was that he should have dismissed it on the ground that she had no proprietary rights or interest…so therefore there was no serious issue to be tried as to whether she has an interest in the boat or not,” Astaphan explained

Despite all the legal woes, the government is confident that the Alfa Nero; which has been docked at the Falmoth Habour for over a year will be officially handed over to its buyer Google boss Eric Schmidt

In late June, High Court Judge Rene Williams rejected an application for an injunction to stop the sale of the luxury vessel which has been moored in Falmouth Habour for over 13 months.

All these legal twists could further delay the competition of the sale, as Schmidt was expected to transfer US$67.6 million into the government account after he won the bid during the auction.

He said several weeks ago, through his attorneys that he was awaiting the completion of the court matter before he could transfer the funds to seal the deal.

The government maintains that it is now the owner of the Alfa Nero and the legal issues are deliberate attempts to frustrate the process.

Selling the Alfa Nero hasn’t been an easy task for the government as it encountered several roadblocks along the way

On June 01, the US removed the Alfa Nero, from its sanctions list; one of the major hurdles for the government after it seized the multi-million-dollar floating island.

It was Ambassador to the United States Ronald Sanders who had been leading the effort in Washington to have the Alfa Nero removed from the List of the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) of the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

This paved the way, making the Government of Antigua and Barbuda the lawful owners

The yacht, features a 12-meter infinity pool, a Jacuzzi, a spa, a beauty room, and a helipad.

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