The High Court today said former prime minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor, alongside Lebanese jeweller Global Royalty Trading SAL, may inspect 11,991 pieces of jewellery confiscated by police three years ago.
The items were seized during police raids linked to investigations into Najib at the Pavilion Residences in Kuala Lumpur, in the aftermath of the 2018 election. They are currently being kept in 90 boxes in a vault in Bank Negara Malaysia.
Judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin said the three parties might inspect the jewellery either between July 12 and 15, or Aug 2 and 6, with case management fixed on June 1.
Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Faten Hadni Khairuddin said it would take four to five days to complete inspections of the jewellery, based on simulations by the prosecution, Bank Negara and investigators.
“Inspecting each box will take about 15 to 20 minutes, but this will still depend on the method of inspection by a third party. So we estimate about four boxes will be inspected in an hour,” he said.
Bank Negara had also advised the parties against staying in the vault for more than five hours due to the oxygen level, he said during the hearing on the prosecution’s application to forfeit the luxury items from Obyu Holdings, the company which owns the property where they were seized.
The company is owned by Bustari Yusof.
Najib and Rosmah, represented by lawyers Syahirah Hanapiah and Iskandar Shah Ibrahim, and Global Royalty, represented by David Gurupatham, are challenging the forfeiture application.
Gurupatham said Global Royalty’s representative Samer Halimeh is currently in the UK and would seek a special pass to travel to Malaysia in the face of Covid-19 restrictions.
In 2018, police seized close to 12,000 pieces of jewellery, 27 luxury cars, more than 400 watches and hundreds of handbags in several raids on various properties linked to Najib, said to be worth more than RM115 million, as part of investigations into the 1MDB scandal.
On July 25 last year, Najib and Rosmah inspected 306 handbags, 401 watches, 16 watch accessories and 234 pairs of glasses, among the items seized in the raids.