KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today ordered the government to file an affidavit to confirm whether 44 pieces of jewellery, worth US$14.79 million or almost RM60 million, which were allegedly sent to Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor by a Lebanese jeweller, had been seized by the police.
Judicial Commissioner Wong Chee Lin made the order after senior federal counsel Izham Marzuki, representing the government, told the court that they could not confirm if the 44 jewellery items were part of the 12,000-piece haul by the police from raids on premises linked to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“I want the government to come back in two weeks’ time with an affidavit to confirm whether the 44 pieces of jewellery have been seized by the police and to seek the defendant (Rosmah) to help in identifying the items,” said Wong.
She said Rosmah was the best person to proof it.
“We are hoping for her to assist as she is the best person to identify the items,” said Wong and set two days, beginning March 4 next year for trial.
Wong then dismissed an application by Rosmah, named as the defendant in a suit brought by the Lebanese company, Global Royalty Trading SAL, to strike out the suit without hearing submissions from all parties.
However, she said, Rosmah could file a fresh striking out application after it had been proved that the jewellery items had been seized.
Earlier, Rosmah’s lawyer, Rajivan Nambiar, told the court that the government should came back to court and confirm the seizure of the goods.
“Rosmah took the position that the items were seized, but the government cannot confirm it,” he said.
The government was named the second defendant in the suit after it succeeded in its application to be an intervenor. Initially, Rosmah was the sole defendant.
The government had sought to be part of Global Royalty’s suit against Rosmah on grounds that the jewellery belonged to the government and was bought with stolen money.
Global Royalty sued Rosmah last June 26, demanding her to return 44 pieces of jewellery allegedly sent to her for viewing, or to pay the price for all the items, totalling US$14.79 million or almost RM60 million.
In its statement of claim, Global Royalty, which is an international wholesale jeweller, claimed that Rosmah had been its long-standing customer and that the firm would send consignments of jewellery to her on request.
She would then evaluate or purchase the items of her choice which she would pay for on her own or through a third party.
The firm, which has been supplying jewellery for royalty and the rich and famous from all over the world, claimed that items that were not chosen would normally be returned and, in certain situation, Rosmah would borrow the jewellery and the return it to the plaintiff.
The firm claimed that on Feb 10 this year, it had sent 44 pieces of jewellery, including a diamond necklace, earrings, rings, bracelets and a tiara, each worth between US$124,000 and US$925,000 to Rosmah by hand through two of its agents.
Global Royalty said that during the handover, Rosmah acknowledged and accepted the terms and conditions stated in Memorandum No. 926 relating to the jewellery items.
The company claimed that Rosmah, in a letter dated May 22, also confirmed and acknowledged receiving the items, but said the items were no longer in her custody as they had been seized and were now under the custody of the Malaysian authorities.
It claimed that at all material times, the company was the owner of the jewellery and the ownership had never been transferred to Rosmah.
Global Royalty is seeking a court declaration that the firm is the legal owner of the 44 pieces of jewellery, and an order stating that the ownership of the items was never transferred to the defendant.
It also seeks a mandatory order for Rosmah to provide the list of jewellery seized, an order for the jewellery to be returned or, if not, Rosmah shall be held responsible for paying the price of the items, totalling US$14.79 million (RM59.83 million).
Rosmah, in her statement of defence filed on July 23, denied purchasing any of the 44 pieces of jewellery and said they were delivered for her viewing, by virtue of the fact that she was the wife of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, on the plaintiff’s own accord and volition and without there being any obligation for her to purchase the jewellery. – Bernama