Lebanese jeweller fails in bid for summary judgment against Rosmah over missing jewellery

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The Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed Lebanon-based jeweller Global Royalty Trading SAL’s bid to enter into summary judgment against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor in a lawsuit filed by the company to recover 43 pieces of jewellery worth RM67.4mil.

Lawyer Rajivan Nambiar, representing Rosmah as the defendant, said Judge Ong Chee Kwan dismissed Global Royalty’s application with costs of RM7,500.

“The court held that this is not a fit and proper case to enter into a summary judgment as there are issues which need to be ventilated at trial,” he said when contacted after the proceedings, which were conducted online.

A summary judgment is where a court decides a case without a trial if the factual or legal position is not in dispute.

Rajivan said the court also allowed the application by the wife of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for security for costs against Global Royalty with costs of RM5,000.

“Security for costs was fixed at RM75,000 with liberty to apply to vary the amount before trial once parties exchange documents or in the event experts are going to be called.

“Costs of RM75,000 are to be paid by Global Royalty into court within one month from today,” said Rajivan, who is assisted by lawyer Mohd Reza Rahim.

Rajivan also said that Rosmah’s application for third-party proceedings against the police and the government of Malaysia was fixed for case management on Dec 14.

Meanwhile, Datuk David Gurupatham, who is acting for Global Royalty as the plaintiff, confirmed this when contacted.

On March 29, 2023, Global Royalty filed the suit against Rosmah and claimed that she had lied by saying that 44 pieces of jewellery, including diamond necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets and tiaras, sent to her by the company’s agent were seized by the Malaysian authorities for offences under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

According to the Beirut-based company, this was because only one of the 44 pieces of jewellery was kept by the police and the remaining 43 pieces were not in the custody of the authorities.

Global Royalty also claimed that Rosmah had shifted the burden to the Malaysian government when in fact, the jewellery had gone missing.

The company first sued Rosmah on June 26, 2018, demanding that she return the 44 pieces of jewellery that had been sent to her for selection or pay the full price of all the jewellery, amounting to US$14.79mil.

That lawsuit, however, was withdrawn in 2019.