Rosmah Mansor's application to strike out an RM60 million suit filed by a Lebanese jewellery firm for the non-payment of 44 pieces of jewellery it had sent to her was dismissed by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today.
Judicial Commissioner Wong Chee Lin ordered the Attorney-General’s Chambers to file an affidavit within two weeks from today to declare whether the 44 items are with the police.
Wong said it was premature for Rosmah to make the application to strike out when it remained uncertain whether the jewellery were in the possession of the police.
The court also sought assistance from lawyers representing Rosmah for their client's help in identifying the said jewellery.
It is only after this that Rosmah can file a fresh striking-out application if it has been ascertained that the items are with the police.
"I am concerned with prejudging the issue and this matter should go to trial with the dates fixed before it is to be decided whether it would go to the forfeiture court," the judicial commissioner added.
Lebanese jewellery firm Global Royalty Trading SAL filed the suit on June 26, demanding that Rosmah returns 44 pieces of jewellery allegedly sent to her for viewing or to pay the price for all the items, totalling US$14.79 million or almost RM60 million.
In its statement of claim, the international wholesale jeweller claimed that Rosmah has been its long-standing customer and that the firm would send consignments of jewellery to her upon request.
She would then evaluate or purchase the items of her choice, for which she would pay on her own or through a third party.
The firm, which has been supplying jewellery for royalty and the rich and famous from all over the world, claimed that the items not chosen would normally be returned and, in certain situations, Rosmah would borrow jewellery and return them to the firm.
Global Royalty Trading also claimed that Rosmah would receive the jewellery personally or through its personnel/agent in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Dubai.
The firm claimed that on Feb 10 this year, it sent 44 pieces of jewellery, including a diamond necklace, earrings, rings, bracelets and a tiara, each worth between US$124,000 and US$925,000, to the defendant by hand, through two of its agents.
Rosmah filed her defence and striking-out application in July, on grounds that the jewellery are not with her as these were seized by the police, and therefore the suit is unlawful, frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process.
"The company takes the position that our client is liable to indemnify them monies in the sum of RM59.831 million, which is misconceived and without any legal basis.
"The suit filed by Global Royalty contravenes the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001," states Rosmah's statement of defence.
The wife of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak maintains that she did not purchase any of the jewellery sent to her for viewing.
"Hence, the legal titles in respect of the jewellery were never passed to our client.
"The jewellery in question were delivered for viewing by virtue that she was the wife of the (former) prime minister of Malaysia on the plaintiff's (Global Royalty's) own accord and volition and without there being any obligation to purchase the jewellery," her lawyer firm stated.
Global Royalty was represented by David Gurupatham, while senior federal counsel Izhan Marzuki appeared for the police and government and Rajivan Nambiar and Geethan Ram for Rosmah.
Judicial Commissioner Wong fixed March 4 and 5 for the hearing of the suit.