KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's high court on Friday (Jul 27) set a date of Oct 11 to hear an application by the wife of former Malaysia prime minister Najib Razak to strike out a suit brought by a Lebanese wholesale jewellery firm.
Based in Beirut, wholesale jewellery firm Global Royalty Trading SAL is suing Rosmah Mansor, demanding she return 44 pieces of jewellery allegedly sent to her on consignment or pay almost RM60 million (US$14.79 million) for all the items.
One of Rosmah's lawyers, Geethan Ram, told reporters on Friday after the case management of the suit that the application would be heard before judicial commissioner Wong Chee Lin.
Wong will also hear an application from the government to be an intervener in the case on the same day.
The application to strike out the suit was made on the grounds that it breached the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, another of Rosmah's lawyers N Rajivan said.
The jewellery company should have obtained written permission from the Attorney-General’s Chambers before filing the civil suit, he said, adding that the indemnity claim by the company was premature because the jewellery items were only seized and it had yet to incur losses.
Meanwhile, senior federal counsel Alice Loke Yee Ching, who appeared on behalf of the government, said the government was applying to be an intervenor in the case as the company claimed that the jewellery items were seized by the police.
Global Royalty's lawyer David Gurupatham said the plaintiff would not object to the government’s application to be an intervenor in the case.
In its statement of claim, Global Royalty said that Rosmah had been a longstanding customer and that the firm would send consignments of jewellery to her by her demand. She would then evaluate or purchase the items of her choice which she would pay for on her own or through a third party.
The company claimed that Rosmah, in a letter dated May 22, confirmed and acknowledged receiving the 44 items of jewellery it had sent her, but said the items were no longer in her custody as they had been seized and were now under the custody of the Malaysian authority.
The firm claimed that at all material times, it was the owner of the jewellery and the ownership had never been transferred to Rosmah.
Global Royalty is seeking a court declaration that the firm is the legal owner of the 44 pieces of jewellery and an order stating that the ownership of the items was never transferred to the defendant.
It is also seeking a mandatory order for Rosmah to provide the list of jewellery items seized, an order for the jewellery to be returned or for Rosmah to be held responsible for paying the price of all the affected jewellery items.
Rosmah, in her defence filed Monday, denied buying any of the 44 jewellery items that were sent to her or that ownership of the jewellery was transferred to her.
READ: Rosmah Mansor will apply to strike out suit brought by Lebanese jewellery firm 'in due course': Lawyer
She said the jewellery items were sent to her for viewing by virtue of the fact that she was the then-prime minister’s wife and on the plaintiff’s own accord and volition, without there being any obligation for her to purchase the jewellery.