Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Commissioner Datuk Seri Amar Singh Ishar Singh holding up photos of jewellery seized by the Malaysian police from properties linked to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak last year. Photo by: Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Yusuf
KUALA LUMPUR (May 24): Lebanese jeweller Global Royalty Trading SAL, which filed an action against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to recover 44 pieces of jewellery shipped to her early last year, has identified some of their goods among the items forfeited by the police and government.
As a result, lawyer Datuk David Gurupatham, who is acting for the firm, said he has been instructed to intervene in the forfeiture action by the government to stake its claim.
"The court was informed today that the plaintiff had inspected and made a statement to the police and that not all the pieces (of the jewellery) are there.
"Hence, we will apply to intervene as we wrote to the Attorney General (Tommy Thomas) regarding the forfeiture suit and now we will intervene in that action. We will go to the forfeiture court to stake the claim," said the lawyer.
Gurupatham said they will file a formal application to intervene in that case.
When asked how many pieces of jewellery were identified by his client, Gurupatham said he cannot disclose them until the application is filed.
Jewellery among part of items targeted in govt forfeiture action
It was previously reported earlier this month that the government had filed two forfeiture actions — the first is against Najib, Rosmah, and 16 others to seize RM31 million worth of assets, and the second is against OBYU Holdings Sdn Bhd for RM680 million worth of jewellery and other items.
OBYU had denied that it had any interest in the assets seized within its property, and said it was merely a landlord.
Gurupatham and Rosmah's lawyer Reza Rahim and senior federal counsel S Narkunavathy earlier went to meet High Court judicial commissioner Wong Chee Lin for the case.
Wong had fixed Sept 17 and Oct 21 to Oct 24 as trial dates for the Lebanese firm's suit against Rosmah regarding the 44 pieces of jewellery.
Reza and Gurupatham said the suit is pending the plaintiff amending its statement of claim and Rosmah amending her defence.
Jeweller sued Rosmah last year to return goods worth RM59.83m — or pay up
It was reported that Global Royalty sued Rosmah on June 26 last year, demanding that she 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 supplies jewellery for royalty and the rich and famous from all over the world, claimed that the items not chosen would normally be returned and, in certain situations, Rosmah would borrow the jewellery and return it to the plaintiff.
The plaintiff also claimed that the defendant would receive the jewellery personally or through its personnel/agent in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Dubai.
The firm claimed that on Feb 10, 2018, 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 the defendant by hand through two of its agents.
The plaintiff said that during the handover, the defendant also acknowledged and accepted the terms and conditions stated in a memorandum relating to the items.
Global Royalty 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.
The firm claimed that at all material times, the plaintiff was the owner of the jewellery and the ownership had never been transferred to the former premier's wife.
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 for the items totalling US$14.79 million (RM59.83 million).
Rosmah, in her statement of defence filed on July 23, has 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 Rosmah to purchase the jewellery.