Malaysian ex-PM Najib's wife Rosmah to apply for jewellery suit to be struck out

Rosmah Mansor, wife of Malaysia's former Prime Minister Najib Razak, leaves a courtroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 4, 2018.
Rosmah Mansor, wife of Malaysia's former Prime Minister Najib Razak, leaves a courtroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 4, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former prime minister Najib Razak's wife Rosmah Mansor did not buy the jewellery sent for her viewing by a Lebanon-based firm, and so she does not own the legal titles of the items, her lawyers said.

"The position taken by Global Royalty Trading SAL that our client is liable to indemnify them monies in the sum of RM59,831,317.40 (S$20,101,404) is misconceived and without any legal basis.

"The lawsuit by Global Royalty is unlawful, frivolous, vexatious and/or an abuse of the court process.

"Our client did not purchase any of the jewellery. Hence, the legal titles of the jewellery were never passed to our client," her lawyers said in a statement after filing Rosmah's statement of defence on Monday (July 23).

They said the jewellery was sent for Ms Rosmah's viewing, on the jeweller's own accord.

"There was no obligation for Rosmah to purchase and we will apply to strike out the suit," said the lawyers.

Ms Rosmah's lawyers are Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent, Datuk K. Kumaraendran, Rajivan Nambiar, Reza Rahim, Lavania Raja and Revin Kumar.

When contacted, Datuk David Gurupatham, who is representing the jewellery firm, said any application to strike out the lawsuit will be decided by evidence and issues of law.

 
 
 

Mr David said his client is only interested in claiming the price of the 44 pieces of jewellery or to recover the items. He pointed out that Ms Rosmah's lawyers must prove there is "no cause of action" in order for the case to be struck out.

"They (her lawyers) have pleaded that the defendant (Rosmah) has received the goods and the titles to the goods have not passed, which is really the basis of my client's claim for the declaration it is seeking in order to enable it to recover the seized goods.

"She (Rosmah) has said the claim contravenes AMLA (Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001) but has provided no particulars," he said.

Mr David said Ms Rosmah's lawyers also claimed that his client had no basis to file the lawsuit and added "that issue would have to be addressed".

He said that Ms Rosmah saying she received the jewellery consignment as the prime minister's wife on Global Royalty's own volition is among issues which are in dispute.

Mr David said his team will present the evidence in court.

Global Royalty filed the lawsuit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 26. The consignment was delivered by hand on Feb 10.

On May 22, Ms Rosmah confirmed in a letter to Global Royalty that she had received the jewellery, but the items were no longer in her possession as they had been seized by the authorities.

Global Royalty had, in its statement of claim, labelled Ms Rosmah as its long-standing client and said it delivered jewellery to her on a consignment basis, at her request for her to evaluate.

It also claimed that Ms Rosmah would then purchase the jewellery she selected and return the other items.