KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 14): The High Court today ordered the wife of the former prime minister, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, to check and confirm in seven days the existence of 44 units of jewellery worth US$14.79 million or almost RM60 million in her possession which were allegedly confiscated by police. Counsel Datuk David Gurupatham, who was acting for Lebanese company Global Royalty Trading SAL, when met by reporters, said the order was issued by Judicial Commissioner Wong Chee Lin after a case management of a suit in her chambers today.
Gurupatham said Rosmah has to prove the whereabouts of all the jewellery concerned and his client was not required to do so.
“The court is of the view and agree with our argument that the trial will be held regardless of whether the jewellery were in police keeping or not as she had confirmed and signed for the consignment of the jewellery,” he said.
Gurupatham said Rosmah had confirmed receiving and signing the consignment of the jewellery as she requested and now she said she need not pay after claiming the jewellery had been seized by police.
"According to the law, it is not the duty of police to prove (the existence of the jewellery),” he said.
The lawyer said the court also ordered all parties to furnish all documents used for the hearing set on March 4 and 5.
On June 26, 2018, Global Royalty as the plaintiff filed a suit against Rosmah as defendant to demand the return of 44 units of jewellery sent to her for selection or pay the price for all the items amounting to US$14.79 million or almost RM60 million.
In its statement of claim, Global Royalty, an international jewellery wholesaler claimed Rosmah was a long-time regular customer and the firm would send her jewellery consignments as requested by her. Rosmah would later assess or purchase the jewellery of her selection by herself or through a third party.
The company which supplies jewellery to royalties as well as renowned customers from all over the world, alleged the jewellery which were selected would be returned and in certain circumstances Rosmah would borrow several pieces and return them to the plaintiff.
Global Royalty claimed on Feb 10, 2018, it sent 44 pieces of jewellery including diamond necklaces, ear rings, rings, bracelets and tiaras, each worth between US$124,000 and US$925,000 to the defendant with hand carry courier via its two agents.
The company said during the delivery, Rosmah confirmed and accepted the terms as well as conditions in Memorandum No. 926 relating to the jewellery.
The company alleged that Rosmah in a letter dated May 22, 2018 also confirmed and acknowledged receiving the jewellery concerned but said all the jewellery were no longer in her possession, and they have been confiscated and are now being kept by the Malaysian authorities.
Global Royalty sought the court to declare that the firm was the owner of the 44 pieces of jewellery apart from the order that ownership of the jewellery was not transferred to the defendant.
It is also seeking a mandatory order for Rosmah to provide a list of jewellery seized, order for the jewellery to be returned or Rosmah would be responsible to pay price of the jewellery worth US$14.79 million (RM59.83 million).
Rosmah in her statement of defence filed on July 23, 2018 denied buying any of the 44 pieces of jewellery and said the jewellery were sent to her to view on her status as the wife of the prime minister of Malaysia and based on the voluntary willingness of the company itself without any obligation for her to buy the jewellery.