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Najib's wife must prove jewels were seized: Beirut jeweller's lawyer

PETALING JAYA: Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, must prove the whereabouts of 44 pieces of jewellery she received from a Lebanese jewellery firm, said the company's lawyer.

Mr David Gurupatham, who is representing Beirut-based jeweller Global Royalty Trading SAL, said Rosmah claimed the goods were seized by the police during raids in May on properties linked to Najib.

But in a civil case, Mr David said the burden was on her to substantiate this claim.

"Bearing that in mind, her position will depend on whether the goods were seized," he said on Monday.

On June 26, 2018, Global Royalty Trading sued Rosmah, demanding that she return jewellery sent to her for viewing or pay the full price of all the items, which are worth US$14.8 million (S$20.1 million).

Global Royalty Trading had alleged that Rosmah was a longstanding customer and it would send consignments of jewellery to her on demand.

She would evaluate and buy the items, which she paid for on her own or through a third party.

The company claimed that Rosmah, via a letter dated May 22 last year, confirmed and acknowledged the receipt of the jewellery but stated that all the items were no longer in her possession because they had been seized.

LIABILITY

Mr David noted that the findings on the whereabouts of the jewellery were equally important for his client because if the goods were not seized, then the civil suit could proceed.

"And in which case, she may have to pay the full amount based on her liability under the consignment note she signed.

"It is also important for the court, as any judgment must be based on accurate facts.

"Therefore it is important for all parties to have this issue decided. Are the 44 pieces of jewellery actually seized and in the possession of the police or not?" he said.

National news agency Bernama reported on Monday that Rosmah was to apply for a stay of proceedings of a lawsuit filed against her by the jeweller.

Rosmah's lawyer N. Rajivan said the application was necessary because the government has yet to verify whether the jewellery was in the possession of the police or Rosmah.

On a separate matter, the 67-year-old could face new charges over a RM1.25 billion (S$416 million) solar hybrid project for rural schools. - THE STAR

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