PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak's wife Rosmah Mansor has denied purchasing jewellery worth US$14.8 million (S$20 million) from a Lebanese jewellery firm.
Reports said the Beirut-based Global Royalty Trading SAL, filed the suit against Datin Seri Rosmah at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 26 through the law firm David Gurupatham and Koay.
“We would like to stress that all of the jewelleries itemised in Global Royalty's statement of claim, were sent to our client, for her viewing, and none were purchased by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
“The allegations being spread that the jewelleries listed by Global Royalty were purchased, and that too bought using stolen funds, is therefore completely baseless and untrue.
“We shall in due course, be taking the necessary measures to protect our client's interest,” Rosmah said in a statement through her lawyers Datuk K. Kumaraendran and Datuk Geethan Ram.
Global Royalty Trading said in its statement of claim dated Feb 10 that 44 pieces of jewellery comprising a tiara, diamond necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings were sent to Rosmah.
The statement of claim added that while Rosmah had acknowledged in writing to receiving the consignment, the items were no longer in her custody.
Global Royalty Trading also alleged in its statement of claim that Rosmah was a long-standing customer and that it would send consignments of jewellery to her on her demand.
She would then evaluate and purchase the items which she paid on her own or through a third party.
The firm added that Rosmah would sometimes borrow the jewellery, with the receiving party being herself or her agent in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Dubai.
Global Royalty Trading also said those that were not chosen would be returned.
The jewellery firm is seeking a declaration from the court that it is the rightful owner of the 44 items.
It is also seeking a mandatory order for the items to be returned. Upon failure to do so, the firm says that Rosmah has to pay up, based on the value of the items.
The Malaysian police last month said over RM1 billion worth of items were seized in raids conducted on six premises linked to Najib a week after the country’s May 9 general election which saw his Barisan Nasional coalition being ousted from power by the Pakatan Harapan alliance.
Police said the items seized included cash, jewellery, handbags, watches and luxury sunglasses. The seizures were made as part of investigations into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund.
Najib last Wednesday pleaded not guilty to three counts of criminal breach of trust and another charge of abuse of power involving RM42 million linked to SRC International, a former 1MDB subsidiary.