KUALA LUMPUR (June 7): Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor has claimed that Lebanese jewellery firm Global Royalty Trading SAL has no locus standi (legal standing) to file a suit against her here, as it should have been filed in New York, the US instead.
In her statement of defence, the 71-year-old said the suit did not stipulate the cause of action, hence the suit could be described as frivolous, vexatious, and an abuse of the court process.
“The suit was filed wrongly, as the document in the claim which the company relied on stipulates the jurisdiction for the claim lies with the New York court and [is] based on their law. Hence, it is clear that the company wrongly abused the court process by filing the case here in Malaysia,” she said in her defence filed through Messrs Reza Rahim & Rajivan.
Rosmah, who is married to jailed former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, also said that the company had violated “the proper party rule”, and that she reserves the right to file additional defences to the claim, as well as an application to strike out the suit.
She further claimed that as the wife of the PM at that time, there were companies like the plaintiff which sought publicity for their products, and wanted her to be their customer.
“Hence, the items would be sent to me to see, and this was done on the willingness of the company, and there was no obligation on my part to purchase it. I deny that I have asked for such jewellery as claimed by the company.
“The items were sent to me for the benefit and profit of the company for it to collect, obtain and attract publicity among buyers. I stress that I do not know whether the company is the true owner of the jewellery as claimed, and the company should prove the matter when the matter goes on trial,” she added.
It was reported in April by The Edge that Global Royalty had refiled the US$14.57 million (RM67.46 million) suit in the High Court here against Rosmah for 43 pieces of jewellery, which were despatched to her in February 2018, but are now allegedly missing following a raid by the authorities.
The firm only managed to recover one item among the 12,000 pieces of jewellery seized, namely one diamond bracelet worth US$220,000.
Rosmah said that the consignment note dated May 22, 2018 is improper, incomplete, and possibly forged for fraudulent purposes.
This is because the document consisted of six pages, and it is clear that the last page on the purported terms of understanding was inserted later by the company to further support the action.
“The last page of the document does not exist, [and] does not bear my signature to affirm the agreement on the terms. Furthermore, the purported last page denotes page three of three, whereas the document ends on page five listing the items.
“I stress the document was an instrument of fraud, as I never agreed to the terms. The document is therefore null and void, as it violated Section 24 of the Contracts Act 1950,” she said, adding that when she signed the document, only one clause appeared, namely acknowledging that the items were delivered for examination and inspection only, and if she was interested, a bill of sale would be prepared separately.
She maintained that she was not agreeable to the terms on the last page of the document, and hence denied the claim made by Global Royalty.
Rosmah further stated that she acknowledges the seizure made by the police or the Malaysian government was true, and she affirmed that she kept the valuables at one place during the seizure.
“It is common knowledge that all valuable assets owned by my family and I were seized by the police, hence it is not possible that I have kept the jewellery worth millions of ringgit as alleged. Furthermore, I was not permitted to go overseas,” she said, adding if the said 43 items are lost, the police or the Malaysian government should be made responsible for the losses.
She further denied that she was reckless as claimed by the company, as it was clear the action taken by the police or government was unforeseeable.
“For the above reasons, I pray that the claim made by Global Royalty is dismissed with costs,” she said in ending her defence statement.
Case management of the matter was being done on Wednesday (June 7) before High Court deputy registrar Rini Triany Muhamad Ali.