Lebanese jeweller drops RM60m suit against Rosmah

KUALA LUMPUR: Lebanese jeweller Global Royalty Trading SAL has suddenly withdrawn its suit against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor over the handover of 44 pieces of jewellery to her that were worth US$14.79 million (RM60 million) in February last year before the 14th general election in May.


Global Royalty’s lawyer Datuk David Gurupatham told reporters that his client Samir Halimeh — who came all the way from Lebanon — had decided to withdraw the claim and instead focus on intervening in the government’s forfeiture proceedings against OBYU Holdings Sdn Bhd, the owner of a property from which 12,000 pieces of jewellery were seized by the police last June.


“If the 44 pieces are among the ones forfeited by the police, we will take it up there with the government,” he said.


The lawyer added that High Court Judge Justice Wong Chee Lin had allowed the withdrawal of the suit with no order as to costs.


The decision was confirmed by senior federal counsel S Narkunavathy, who appeared for the government as an intervener of the civil suit, and Rosmah’s lawyer Rajivan Nambiar.


With this, Gurupatham said the company will participate in the OBYU hearing scheduled for Oct 31.


He added that if the jeweller’s goods are not among the items seized, they may file a fresh suit against Rosmah.


Global Royalty’s decision to drop the suit came right after Justice Wong rejected Rosmah’s bid to stay the trial, pending the government’s appeal against the court allowing the appointment of an independent jeweller to identify the 44 pieces of jewellery in contention.


It was previously reported that the police only identified one piece of jewellery as possibly belonging to the firm, while Samir pinpointed four of them from pictures of the seized pieces.


The company filed the suit on June 26 last year 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 statement of claim, the company said it would send consignments of jewellery at the request of Rosmah, who was its long-standing customer.


She would then evaluate or purchase the items of her choice, which she would pay for on her own or through a third party, and return the rest.


Global Royalty claimed that she in a letter dated May 22 last year confirmed and acknowledged receiving the items, but said the items were no longer in her custody as they had been seized by the Malaysian authorities.


The jeweller sought, among other things, a mandatory order for Rosmah to provide the list of jewellery seized and an order for the jewellery to be returned or, if not, Rosmah shall be held responsible for paying the price of the items totalling US$14.79 million.


In a statement of defence filed on July 23, Rosmah denied purchasing any of the jewellery and said they were delivered for her viewing — by virtue of the fact that she was the wife of Malaysia’s prime minister — of the plaintiff’s own accord and volition without any obligation for her to purchase the jewellery.