Malaysian ex-PM Najib's wife Rosmah stands to give evidence in case over RM60 million in unpaid jewellery

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, arriving at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in Putrajaya on Sept 26, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak's wife Rosmah Mansor will know soon whether she will have to give evidence in a legal suit over unpaid jewellery worth RM60 million (S$19.9 million) demanded by a Lebanese jeweller, who counts the former self-styled first lady as one of his best customers, local media reported.

According to The Malaysian Insight (TMI), the Kuala Lumpur High Court will make a decision soon on Datin Seri Rosmah's application to strike off the suit filed by Mr Samer Halimeh after a consignment of 44 pieces of jewellery that were sent to her in February were seized in government raids in May. The items have not been paid for.

Madam Rosmah had filed an application last month to strike out the case on grounds that Mr Halimeh cannot claim money through the civil court without the consent of the Attorney-General, citing anti-money laundering laws, reported TMI.

She also said in her affidavit that no civil suit can be instituted to claim seized properties under Section 54(3) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities 2001 for any business transaction or "dealing".

Mr Halimeh, in an affidavit filed last week, said consent has been given because the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) has applied to act as intervener in his case on behalf of the government, TMI reported.

An intervener is a third-party litigant that joins an ongoing litigation because it may be affected by the judgment.

A decision on Madam Rosmah's application to strike out the suit will be made soon, said Mr Halimeh's lawyer David Gurupatham.

"If Rosmah's application is thrown out by the High Court, then it will go to trial and she will have to give evidence in court," he said.

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