Khairuddin withdraws suit to force Rosmah to hand over pink diamond

KUALA LUMPUR: 1MDB critic Khairuddin Abu Hassan has abandoned his suit to compel Rosmah Mansor to “return” a 22-carat pink diamond set in a necklace worth about RM115 million to the state investor.

Khairuddin’s lawyer Damian Chan told High Court judge Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim today the withdrawal was due to “a change in circumstances”.

The judge then struck out the suit filed last August, with no order to costs to Rosmah, fugitive businesman Low Taek Jho and state investor 1MDB.

Lawyer Yazid Mustaqim Roslan appeared for Rosmah, Ng Aik Guan for Low better known as Jho Low and Wong Te Jie for 1MDB.

Senior counsel Gopal Sri Ram, who had appeared for Khairuddin, told FMT the withdrawal came about as the new solicitor for 1MDB had written a letter that they intended to file a fresh action.

In May, Khairuddin’s application to cross-examine Jho Low on his affidavit was dismissed, which Sri Ram had then described “as a great disappointment”.

Khairuddin 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 Jho Low to pay 1MDB all the money allegedly misappropriated from the company.

In addition, he wanted Rosmah and 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 had 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.

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.