Crime & Courts

Lebanese jeweller's US$14.79 mil lawsuit against Rosmah to go for full trial

KUALA LUMPUR: A multimillion ringgit lawsuit by a Lebanese jeweller against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor will go for a full trial, the High Court ruled today.

This is after judge Ong Chee Kwan dismissed Global Royalty Trading SAL's application for a summary judgment after contending that the wife of Datuk Seri Najib Razak has failed to hand back jewellery worth millions of ringgit to the company.

Ong in his ruling said it was not a fit and proper case to enter judgment summarily as there are issues which need to be ventilated at trial.

He also ordered the cost of RM7,500 to be paid by the applicant.

Summary judgment is a legal decision made by a court without a full trial when there are no genuine issues of material fact, allowing the judge to rule on the case based on the presented evidence and legal arguments.

The court also ordered Global Royalty to deposit RM75,000 as security for costs within a month.

Security for costs is a legal requirement for a party to deposit funds as a guarantee to cover potential legal expenses if they lose a case.

Rosmah was represented by counsels Mohd Reza Rahim and Ravivan Nambiar while Datuk David Gurupatham and Venothani Rajagopal appeared for Global Royalty.

The suit was filed by Global Royalty against Rosmah to recover the jewellery seized by police from two condominium units linked to Najib in the upmarket Pavilion Residences here five years ago.

Rosmah in her defence claimed she had taken all reasonable and prudent steps to ensure the safety of the jewellery.

The defendant (Rosmah) claimed she cannot be held responsible for the loss of the said jewellery as it was taken by the police through a legal operation.

She claimed her statement regarding the seizure of the jewellery by police is true and meritorious, as one of the said jewellery was found in police possession.

Global Royalty, however, contended that Rosmah does not have a meritorious defence and her denials are merely bare denials.

The company filed the suit on June 26, 2018 to compel Rosmah to return the jewellery it had sent to her for viewing, including a diamond necklace, earrings, rings, bracelets and a tiara, each worth between US$124,000 and US$925,000.

In its suit, Global Royalty claimed that on Feb 10, 2018, it sent 43 pieces of jewellery including diamond necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets and tiaras, each worth US$124,000 (RM519,183) to US$925,000 (RM3.8 million), to the defendant through hand-carry courier via its two agents.

It also claimed that Rosmah, in a letter dated May 22, 2018, also confirmed and acknowledged receiving the jewellery but said all the jewellery were no longer in her possession, and that it had been seized and was being kept by Malaysian authorities.

On Oct 23, 2019, Global Royalty decided to withdraw the claim and instead focus on intervening in the government's forfeiture proceedings against OBYU Holdings Sdn Bhd, the owner of the property from which 12,000 pieces of jewellery were seized by the police.

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