Putrajaya ordered to confirm whereabouts of jewellery sent to Rosmah.
The High Court here has ordered the government to confirm whether the 44 pieces of jewellery loaned by a Lebanese jeweller to Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor were part of items seized during police raids in their investigation into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
High Court Judicial Commissioner Wong Chee Lin made the order after the court was informed by Senior Federal Counsel Izham Marzuki that the Attorney General’s Chambers could not confirm whether the 44 items of jewellery by Global Royalty Trading SAL were part of the 12,000-piece haul by the police.
Police had confiscated 2,200 rings, 2,100 bracelets, 2,800 pairs of earrings, 1,600 brooches, 1,400 necklaces and 14 tiaras. The haul was the biggest in Malaysian history.
The 44 pieces of jewellery are worth RM60 million.
Wong told the government on Thursday (Oct 11) to submit an affidavit on its reply in two weeks.
She also fixed March 4 and March 5 next year for trial after throwing out Rosmah’s bid to strike out the suit, although the latter can re-file to strike the suit out again after the government files its affidavit in two weeks’ time.
“She (Rosmah) is the best person to prove in trial if she saw the items taken away, and whether she received a notice under the anti-money laundering law for the seizure of the jewellery,” Wong said.
Earlier, Rosmah’s lawyers Rajivan Nambiar and Reza Rahim had disputed the status of the 44 pieces of jewellery.
“(Rosmah) took the position that the items were seized, but the government cannot confirm it. Now, this is up in the air,” Rajivan said.
In July, Beirut-based Global Royalty Trading filed an RM60 million suit against Rosmah over the 44 pieces of jewellery allegedly sent to her earlier this year and which she said had been seized by the police.
The firm, in its statement of claim, said Rosmah had acknowledged in a letter on May 22 that she received the items.
Global Royalty Trading said in its statement of claim dated Feb 10 that the 44 pieces of jewellery comprising rings, bracelets, earrings, diamond necklaces and a tiara were sent to Rosmah.
The statement of claim added that while Rosmah had acknowledged in writing to receiving the consignment, the items were no longer in her custody.
David Gurupatham, representing Global Royalty, told Wong the jeweller had written to Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Amar Singh and received a general reply.
“(Amar) told us through his affidavit that goods were seized, but he could not confirm if our 44 pieces were included in the 12,000 items they took.”
The police raided several premises linked to Najib over a few days beginning May 16.
Global Royalty Trading also alleged that Rosmah was a long-standing customer and that it would send consignments of jewellery to her on her demand.
“Those items that she wished to buy would be paid for through a third agent or herself,” the company said.
It also said that Rosmah would receive the jewellery herself or through her agents in Dubai, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.
The firm added that she would sometimes loan the jewellery while pieces that were not chosen would be returned.
The jeweller is seeking a declaration from the court that it is the rightful owner of the 44 items.
“The company maintains that we are the owners of all the items, and the ownership was not transferred to her,” Global Royalty said.
It is also seeking a mandatory order for the items to be returned and failure to do so, for Rosmah to pay the amount based on the value of the items.
The government was made a party in the Lebanese company’s suit in August.
It sought to be included on grounds that the jewellery belonged to the government and was bought with stolen money.
Dubai-based jeweller Adi Hasan AlFardan is also seeking to recover jewellery worth more than US$5 million (RM20.75 million) delivered to Rosmah. He claimed he, too, had not been paid.
The missing pieces are a yellow diamond cushion-cut necklace, a pair of yellow diamond cushion-cut earrings and a yellow diamond heart-shaped necklace.
Jul 19, Rosmah May Have to Pay RM60M