KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today ordered Rosmah Mansor to check and confirm in seven days the existence of 44 pieces of jewellery worth US$14.79 million in her possession, allegedly confiscated by the police.
When met by reporters, counsel David Gurupatham, acting for Lebanese company Global Royalty Trading SAL, said the order was issued by judicial commissioner Wong Chee Lin after case management in chambers today.
He said Rosmah had to prove the whereabouts of the jewellery concerned, while his client was not required to do so.
“The court is of the view, and agrees with our argument, that the trial will be held regardless of whether the jewellery was in police keeping or not as she had confirmed and signed for the consignment of jewellery,” he added.
He said the former prime minister’s wife had confirmed receiving and signing for the consignment of jewellery, and that she now said she need not pay after claiming the jewellery had been seized by the police.
“According to the law, it is not the duty of the police to prove (the existence of the jewellery),” he said.
He added that the court had ordered all parties to furnish the documents used for the hearing, set on March 4 and 5.
On June 26, 2018, Global Royalty as the plaintiff filed a suit against Rosmah as defendant to demand the return of 44 pieces of jewellery sent to her for selection, or that she pay the price for all the items amounting to US$14.79 million or almost RM60 million.
In its statement of claim, Global Royalty, an international jewellery wholesaler, claimed Rosmah was a long-time regular customer and the firm would send her jewellery consignments as requested by her. Rosmah would later assess or purchase the jewellery of her selection herself or through a third party.
The company alleged that the selected jewellery would be returned, while in certain circumstances, Rosmah would borrow several pieces and return them to the plaintiff.
Global Royalty claimed that on Feb 10, 2018, it sent 44 pieces of jewellery including diamond necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets and tiaras, each worth between US$124,000 and US$925,000, to the defendant by courier through its two agents.
The company said Rosmah confirmed and accepted the terms as well as conditions in Memorandum No. 926 relating to the jewellery.
The company alleged that Rosmah in a letter dated May 22, 2018 also confirmed and acknowledged receiving the jewellery concerned but said it was no longer in her possession as it had been confiscated by Malaysian authorities.
Global Royalty is seeking a court declaration that the firm is the owner of the 44 pieces of jewellery, as well as an order that ownership of the jewellery was not transferred to the defendant.
It is also seeking a mandatory order for Rosmah to provide a list of the jewellery seized, and an order for the jewellery to be returned. Otherwise, it wants Rosmah to be responsible for paying the full price of the jewellery.
Rosmah, in her statement of defence filed on July 23, 2018, denied buying any of the jewellery. She said it was sent to her to view as she was the wife of the prime minister, of the company’s own accord and without any obligation for her to buy it.