Jeweller told to place RM75,000 as security in suit against Rosmah

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on September 18, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has directed Lebanese jeweller Global Royalty Trading SAL to place RM75,000 as security for costs in its US$14.79 million (RM60 million) suit against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor over 44 pieces of jewellery that the company sent to the former prime minister’s wife just before the 14th general election last year.

Security for costs can be imposed by a court when the party filing the suit is a foreigner and the defendant is concerned that the party would not be able to pay costs if it loses the suit.

The application was allowed by Justice Wong Chee Lin following submissions by both sides yesterday. He ordered the security for costs to be deposited by Oct 11, failing which the suit would be struck off.

Initially, Rosmah wanted the company to pay RM500,000 in security for costs.

The judge yesterday also allowed another application by Rosmah for the appointment of a court expert on jewellery to identify and verify the number of jewellery items that were apparently sent to Rosmah and are currently in government custody.

This comes after the company claimed that it had identified only four of the 44 pieces of jewellery that the company claims it delivered to Rosmah.

Following the inconsistencies and in the interests of justice, the court allowed Rosmah’s application, said her lawyer Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent.

Global Royalty, represented by counsel Datuk David Gurupatham, had filed the suit on June 26, demanding Rosmah to return the 44 pieces of jewellery sent to her for her viewing.

In its statement of claim, the international wholesale jewellery firm 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 all over the world, claimed the items not chosen would normally be returned and, in certain situations, Rosmah would borrow the jewellery and return it to the firm.

Global Royalty claimed that on Feb 10 last year, it had sent the 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 claimed that Rosmah, in a letter dated May 22 last year, acknowledged receiving the items but said they were no longer in her custody as they had been seized by the authorities.