Lebanese jewellers get court nod in suit against Rosmah, but must put up RM75,000 first

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Global Royalty is seeking the return of 44 pieces of jewellery it claimed to have hand-delivered to Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 — The High Court today has imposed a condition on Lebanese jewellery firm Global Royalty Trading SAL today, in order to proceed with its lawsuit against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

The firm must deposit RM75,000 as security with the court by October 11, failing which the civil suit will be struck out, lawyer Datuk David Gurupatham told reporters after the case was brought up in chambers with judge Wong Chee Lin this morning.

Gurupatham who represented the Lebanese jewellers said Rosmah’s lawyers had in August filed an application seeking RM500,000 as security, to which his clients objected.

“When you’re a foreign company, the court will give a reasonable sum, so we submitted that RM500,000 was not a reasonable sum, and the court agreed with us and said maybe a reasonable sum as security was RM75,000. 

“So if we win, the RM75,000 is returned, and if we lose it goes to her for legal fees cost,” said Gurupatham.

He added that the judge allowed Rosmah’s second application for an expert witness to verify the number of jewellery pieces being sought by the firm, which are currently in the custody of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). 

However, BNM must consent to it. The central bank had expressed concern in allowing inspection of the impounded jewellery pieces.

Rosmah’s lawyer Rajivan Nambiar told reporters that the application for the expert was made after discrepancies were reported in the number of pieces of seized jewellery between BNM and the police.

“Of course it is subject to the consent of BNM because BNM says they are worried about the security threat because the jewelleries are kept in the vault.

“So if BNM comes back and tells us that it’s fine, you can go and inspect, so that inspection will take place,” Nambiar said. 

Global Royalty is seeking the return of 44 pieces of jewellery it claimed to have hand-delivered to Rosmah, the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, on February 10, 2018.

These include diamond necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets and tiaras, each worth between US$124,000 and US$925,000 (RM519,183 and RM3.8 million).

The company also claimed that Rosmah, in a letter dated May 22, 2018, confirmed and acknowledged receiving the jewellery but said they were no longer in her possession as they had been confiscated and were being kept by the Malaysian authorities.

Global Royalty, which loans out jewellery pieces to famous movie stars and other prominent celebrities around the world, is also seeking a mandatory order for Rosmah to provide a list of the jewellery seized, for these to be returned or for Rosmah to pay the price of the jewellery at US$14.79 million (RM59.83 million).

Related Articles Analysts: Stronger Q2 backs BNM’s decision to retain OPR Trial of accused Christchurch gunman delayed in NZ to avoid Ramadan 1MDB trial: Najib’s ex-aide insists Jho Low provided script to deny role in scandal