Egyptian court allows Suez Canal Authority to keep holding container ship Ever Given: Lawyers

The Suez Canal Authority is seeking $1.2b from Ever Given's owner over the blockage and operation to free the ship. PHOTO: REUTERS

CAIRO (REUTERS) - An Egyptian court on Sunday (May 23) rejected a complaint by the Japanese owner of a container ship that blocked traffic in the Suez Canal for six days in March against the vessel's continued detention by canal authorities, a lawyer said.

The Ever Given, one of the world's largest container ships, became jammed across the canal in high winds on March 23, halting traffic in both directions and disrupting global trade.

The complaint was attached to a case at the economic appeals court in Ismailia in which the Suez Canal Authority is seeking US$916 million (S$1.22 billion) in compensation from the Ever Given's owner Shoei Kisen over the blockage and the operation to free the ship.

The court on Sunday referred the case back to a court of first instance, which is due to consider it on Saturday, said Mr Ahmed Abu Ali, one of the lawyers representing the owner.

Any ruling made by the lower court could trigger appeals by either side, said another lawyer on the case, Mr Ahmed Abu Shanab, indicating that legal wrangling could drag on.

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