Lebanese jeweller Global Royalty Trading SAL (Global Royalty) is seeking to intervene in the government’s forfeiture suit against the items seized from the home of Rosmah Mansor, wife of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
The jeweller’s lawyer David Gurupatham told The Malaysian Insight that the application will be made this Friday (May 24) when Global Royalty’s own case against Rosmah is scheduled for case management at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.
“We have written to the Attorney-General’s Chambers to ask for details of the suit.
“Once we have details of the suit, we will intervene to verify whether the 44 pieces (of jewellery) are there.
“If any part of the 44 pieces is there, we will apply to intervene to recover them as our client (Global Royalty) is the legal owner of those pieces that were seized,” he was quoted as saying.
The forfeiture suit is scheduled for case management on May 30, also at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.
In June last year, Global Royalty sued Rosmah for the pieces - comprising a diamond necklace, earrings, rings, bracelets and a tiara all valued at US$14.79 million (RM59.831 million) - and demanded they be returned.
The Beirut-based celebrity jeweller had sent her the consignment for viewing in February 2018 before properties linked to Najib and Rosmah were raided by the police following the 14th general election in May that same year.
The raids, which were part of the police’s investigation into 1MDB, resulted in the seizure of some 12,000 items, including jewellery, designer handbags, watches and cash in various currencies.
Rosmah previously claimed that the jewellery Global Royalty sought was now in the possession of the police following the raids.
According to David, should any of the pieces not be in the possession of the police, Global Royalty will continue to recover them or be fully compensated for them through its civil suit against Rosmah.
In November last year, government officials told the court that they needed more time to verify if Global Royalty’s gems were included in the list of items seized from Najib and Rosmah’s properties.
Under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amla), the police can only hold seized items for a maximum of 12 months.
This means they have until this month (May 2019) to verify and act on the 12,000 pieces before they must release them to the person they were seized from.