In defence, Rosmah says didn’t buy items claimed by Lebanese jeweller

Justin Ong
Global Royalty filed the lawsuit on June 26 seeking US$14.79 million as compensation for 44 pieces of jewellery that were seized by authorities investigating the 1MDB corruption scandal. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor did not purchase the jewellery worth RM60 million sent to her by a gems wholesaler who is now seeking payment for the items seized by 1MDB investigators, said her lawyers.

The lawyers also disclosed that they submitted her statement of defence today in response to the lawsuit initiated by Global Royalty Trading Sal.

Rosmah argued in it that she was never the titular owner of the 44 pieces of jewellery that she insisted Global Royalty sent unsolicited for her consideration when her husband, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was still the prime minister.

The lawyers further insisted that the lawsuit was in breach of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

“Accordingly, the said suit filed by Global Royalty against our client is clearly unlawful, frivolous, vexatious and/or an abuse of the court process.

“In the circumstances, the position taken by Global Royalty that our client is liable to indemnify them monies in the sum of RM59,831,317.40 is misconceived and without any legal basis,” they said in a statement.

They added that Rosmah will also apply to dismiss the lawsuit soon.

The lawyers acting for her are Datuk Geethan Ram, Datuk K. Kumaraendran, Rajivan Nambiar, Reza Rahim, Lavania Raja and Revin Kumar.

Global Royalty filed the lawsuit on June 26 seeking US$14.79 million as compensation for 44 pieces of jewellery that were seized by authorities investigating the 1MDB corruption scandal.

According to a previous report by national news agency Bernama, the firm called Rosmah a regular patron to whom it would send consignments of jewellery for her perusal.

Those she did not wish to purchase would be returned to Global Royalty although it said she would also occasionally borrow some before sending these back.

It additionally claimed that she acknowledged the receipt of the 44 items sent in February that included diamond necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets and a tiara, each worth between US$124,000 and US$925,000, sent to her personally by two of the firm’s agents.

Commercial crime investigators repeatedly raided six locations linked to Najib for its investigations into 1MDB and confiscated, among others, 12,000 pieces of jewellery that included 2,800 sets of earrings, 2,200 rings, 2,100 bracelets, 1,600 brooches, 1,400 necklaces and 14 tiaras.

They later disclosed the appraised value of all seized cash and items to be RM1.1 billion based on prevailing prices.