Rosmah: Missing gems not my fault

KUALA LUMPUR: Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor says that she cannot be held responsible for the missing 43 pieces of jewellery worth millions of ringgit that were sent to her by a wholesale jeweller from Lebanon.

The wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said her statement that the jewellery had been taken by the police or the Malaysian government through legislation was true and meritorious considering that one of the 44 pieces of jewellery had been found in their possession.

“I was not the cause of the loss of the jewellery. I had kept all the jewellery pieces in the same place and they were confiscated and taken by the police. The public knows that all of my and my family’s property has been seized and confiscated by the authorities.

“Therefore, it is impossible for me to keep the jewellery worth millions of ringgit, and I am also not allowed to leave the country,” she said in her statement of defence filed on Tuesday through Messrs Reza Rahim & Rajivan, reported Bernama.

Global Royalty Trading SAL, based in Beirut, filed a suit against Rosmah, 71, demanding she pay US$14.57mil or RM67.46mil, for violating the contract involving 43 pieces of jewellery sent to her five years ago.

Meanwhile, Rosmah, as the defendant, said the jewellery pieces were sent to her by Global Royalty at the company’s will without her asking for them.

Rosmah stressed that the company wanted publicity and wanted her to be its client because she was the wife of the prime minister of Malaysia at the time.

“The jewellery was sent to me for the benefit and profit of the company to gather, obtain or attract publicity among buyers,” she said.

On March 29, Global Royalty filed the suit against Rosmah after claiming she had lied in her affidavit and in her statement of defence by saying that 44 pieces of jewellery, including diamond necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets and tiaras sent to her by the company’s agent, were seized by the Malaysian authorities for offences under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

The company said this was because only one of the 44 pieces of jewellery was kept by police and the remaining 43 pieces were not in the custody of the authorities.

“Therefore, the defendant failed and was negligent in returning to the plaintiff the remaining 43 pieces of jewellery amounting to US$14.57mil, which were sent to the defendant on Feb 10, 2018,” it said in its statement of claim.

Global Royalty also claimed that the defendant had deceived the company by shifting the burden to the Malaysian government when, in fact, the jewellery had gone missing.

On June 26, 2018, the firm sued Rosmah and demanded that she return the 44 pieces of jewellery sent to her for selection or pay the price for all of them, namely US$14.79mil.

However, the suit was withdrawn in 2019 as the company needed to determine whether the 44 pieces of jewellery were in the custody of Bank Negara Malaysia.

Rosmah’s lawyer Rajivan Nambiar told reporters that during the case proceedings before High Court deputy registrar Rini Triany Muhammad Ali yesterday, the court set June 27 for further case management for Global Royalty to reply to the defence.

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