PETALING JAYA: 1MDB critic Khairuddin Abu Hassan will call witnesses to testify in his efforts to prove that a 22-carat pink diamond set in a necklace worth about RM115 million is in the possession of Rosmah Mansor, his lawyer says.
Gopal Sri Ram said his client had prima facie evidence that the jewellery was in the custody of the former prime minister’s wife.
“We will call witnesses, including those from overseas, that the diamond was delivered to a third party who then handed it over to Rosmah,” he told FMT.
Sri Ram was responding to the police revelation today that 25 bags containing 12,000 items of jewellery estimated to cost RM440 million in materials were seized during raids of premises linked to Najib last month.
However, the elusive pink diamond was not on the inventory.
Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Amar Singh said in total, about RM1 billion of valuables including RM116.7 million in cash had been seized in the raids.
The most valuable piece of jewellery was a white diamond necklace estimated to cost RM6.4 million.
Sri Ram said the pink diamond was handed over to a lady who was acting as an agent for Rosmah. However, he declined to elaborate further.
“If a trial proceeds, Rosmah has a lot to explain.”
Last August, Khairuddin filed a suit seeking a High Court order for Rosmah to return the jewellery to the sovereign wealth fund.
He alleged that the jewellery, including one pink diamond, valued at US$23 million (RM96.77 million) and an accompanying necklace valued at US$4.3 million (RM18.08 million), were received as gifts by Rosmah in March 2014.
He also wanted businessman Low Taek Jho to pay 1MDB all the money allegedly misappropriated from the company.
In addition, he wanted Rosmah and the businessman, better known as Jho Low, to compensate 1MDB for the alleged misappropriation and use of the jewellery, and to repay any money due to the company.
Apart from Rosmah and Low, Khairuddin also named 1MDB as the third defendant in his suit.
He said 1MDB had obtained US$6.5 billion (RM27.93 billion) by borrowing from overseas lenders, and that the company was the beneficial owner of the money.
He said Low, through his agent Tan Kim Loong, purchased the jewellery from Loraine Schwartz in New York for US$27.3 million, money allegedly stolen by the businessman.
His suit is premised on the claim that Rosmah could not have acquired legal title to the jewellery despite having received it as a gift.
Rosmah has filed an application to strike out Khairuddin’s suit, but the former Umno leader is contesting the action.
The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed two civil forfeiture lawsuits against assets worth US$1.8 billion (RM7.7 billion) that it claimed were bought with funds stolen from 1MDB.
The suits comprise the largest legal action brought under the DoJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.
Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing.