KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 11): The Malaysian government has filed an appeal against the High Court's decision last month to allow former first lady Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to appoint an independent jeweller to verify if the 44 pieces of jewellery said to be sent by a Lebanese jeweller to her are among the jewellery seized by the police in May last year.
The government filed a notice of appeal on Wednesday (Oct 9) to appeal against Justice Wong Chee Lin's ruling on Sept 17 that allowed Rosmah's application.
Federal Counsel Ashraf Hamid, who represents the government, when met, confirmed this.
However, lawyers for the Lebanse company Global Royalty SAL and Rosmah only received the copy following case management.
Following that, Rosmah's lawyers Datuk K Kumaraendran, Rajivan Nambiar and Mohd Reza Rahim said they would apply for a stay of the hearing which had been scheduled from Oct 21 to 24.
Rajivan said the application will be filed by Monday and Justice Wong will hear the application on Wednesday (Oct 16).
"The purpose that we wanted a stay is following the appeal made by Federal government in this case. Our position is that the independent jeweller must be there to verify whether the items are with the police or otherwise.
"The counsel for Global Royalty Datuk David Gurupatham claimed they identified four out of the 44 [pieces of] jewellery claimed while police say there is only one. We cannot allow the trial to proceed based on an uncertainty in the number of jewellery said to be with the police," he said.
Hence, the lawyer along with Reza said the government's appeal should be heard first before the trial.
Rajivan said the independent jeweller that they have hired is from India, and it should be allowed to inspect the valuable items seized by the police that are kept in a safe vault in Bank Negara.
It was reported that police had mounted a raid at various properties in the Klang Valley, especially at the Pavillion apartment, and retrieved close to 12,000 pieces of jewellery, expensive handbags and cash of local and foreign denomination.
The government stood as an intervener in the matter after Global Royalty named Rosmah in the US$14.79 million (RM60 million) suit to recover the cost or the return of the jewellery that had been sent to her last February.
Justice Wong had allowed the government to intervene last year.
Global Royalty SAL filed the suit on June 26 last year, demanding Rosmah return the 44 pieces of jewellery sent to her for her viewing or pay its total costs of US$14.79 million.
In its statement of claim, Global Royalty, an international wholesale jewellery firm, alleged Rosmah had been its long-standing customer and that the firm would send consignments of jewellery to her on her request.
She would then evaluate or purchase the items, which she would pay for on her own or through a third party.
Global Royalty, which has been supplying jewellery for royalty and the rich and famous from all over the world, claimed the items not chosen would normally be returned and, in certain situations, Rosmah would borrow the jewellery and return it later to the firm.
The firm also claimed that the defendant would receive the jewellery personally or through its personnel/agent in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Dubai.
The firm claimed that on Feb 10 last year, it sent 44 pieces of jewellery, including a diamond necklace, earrings, rings, bracelets and a tiara, each worth between US$124,000 and US$925,000, to the defendant by hand, through two of its agents.
Global Royalty alleged that Rosmah, in a letter dated May 22 last year, also confirmed and acknowledged receiving the items, but said the items were no longer in her custody, as they had been seized and were with the Malaysian authorities.
The firm claimed that the plaintiff was the owner of the jewellery at all material times, and that the ownership had never been transferred to Rosmah.
The court was today told that the RM75,000 security deposit had been paid by Global Royalty, paving the way for the scheduled trial later this month but as the government filed the appeal, Justice Wong would only rule whether the trial would proceed or otherwise.
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