KUALA LUMPUR: The government was today ordered by the High Court to file an affidavit to confirm the seizure of 44 pieces of jewellery worth US$14.79 million (about RM60 million), allegedly sent to Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor by a well-known jeweller from Lebanon.
Judicial Commissioner Wong Chee Lin made the order after dismissing a striking out application by the former Prime Minister’s wife against a suit filed by Global Royalty Trading SAL.
The judge ordered for the affidavit to be filed within two weeks for the government to confirm whether the 44 pieces of jewellery belonging to Global Royalty were part of the 12,000-piece haul by the police from raids on premises linked to Rosmah’s husband and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Wong said since the question of seizure was still up in the air, the case should go for trial until evidence is produced.
She fixed March 4 and 5 next year for trial.
She has also asked Rosmah to assist in the identification of the jewellery and prove in her evidence on whether the items have been seized.
“I feel that maybe at trial she (Rosmah) could prove it through evidence, whether by way that she saw them (the items) being taken away, or received any letters on the seizure.
“We are hoping for her to assist as she is the best person to identify the items,” she said.
The judge also ordered for the defendant (Rosmah) to file a fresh striking out application when there is evidence that the items had been seized.
Earlier, senior federal counsel Izham Marzuki who represented the government told the court that the government could not confirm whether the 44 items were in police’s possession.
“We have seized items but could not confirm whether the (44) items were seized. Without detailed proof and description, police could not confirm that the items are in police’s possession,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rosmah’s counsel N. Rajivan said his client took position that the items were seized.
“The government could not confirm it, now this is up in the air,” he said.
Counsel Mohamed Reza Rahim who also represented Rosmah argued that at the very least, the government should come back and confirm the seizure of the jewellery.
Datuk David Gurupatham represented Global Royalty.
Global Royalty, which is based in Beirut, had filed the suit on June 26 claiming that Rosmah, as their client, had previously borrowed pieces of jewellery and returned them.
It claimed that as in previous years, the company would send a consignment of jewellery to Rosmah according to her demand for her to evaluate and purchase, and to be paid by her or by a third party.
The company alleged that pieces of jewellery that were not chosen would be returned and that, at times, Rosmah would borrow the jewellery and she or her agent would receive them in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Dubai.
The company claimed that a handover memorandum would accompany the jewellery consignment, describing the terms and conditions.
Global Royalty said it had on Feb 10 this year, sent the 44 pieces of jewellery, which included diamond necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets and a tiara, each costing between US$124,000 and US$925,000.
The company claimed that Rosmah, in a letter dated May 22, acknowledged receiving those items.
It claimed that Rosmah had acknowledged in writing on receiving the consignment and that it was no longer in her custody as it had been seized by the Malaysian authorities.
The terms and conditions of the memorandum included the delivery and return of the jewellery, and that the title of the jewellery remains with the consignor, the owner of the items.
In the suit, Global Royalty sought a declaration from the court that it is the rightful owner of the 44 items of jewellery.
The company further sought a mandatory order for the items to be returned or alternatively, if those items cannot be returned, that Rosmah pays the amount stated based on the value of the jewellery.