Thursday, December 2, 2021

Lebanese jeweller inspected 1MDB-linked bling, Najib-Rosmah unable to attend, court told

Rosmah needed to go to Singapore to visit her daughter while Najib had duties in Parliament.

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The High Court in Kuala Lumpur was told yesterday that a representative of Lebanese jewellery company Global Royalty Trading SAL had physically inspected 11,991 items of jewellery stored in Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) vaults.

These items were among the jewellery seized by police from the premises of Obyu Holdings Sdn Bhd in Pavilion Residences in May 2018, and which were allegedly linked to the 1MDB fund scandal.

Deputy public prosecutor Faten Hadni Khairuddin said this when contacted by the media following case management before High Court judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin.

“In today’s proceedings, the prosecution informed the court that lawyers and representatives of Global Royalty were present to conduct the physical inspection from Oct 25 to Nov 3.

“However, lawyers representing (former prime minister) Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor told the court that their clients could not attend and waived the right to the inspection of the jewellery.

“This is because Rosmah needed to go to Singapore to visit her daughter while Najib is involved with his duties in Parliament,” said Faten.

Meanwhile, lawyer David Gurupatham, representing Global Royalty, said the physical inspection was conducted by the jeweller’s agent Kelvin Chai as the company’s owner, Samer Halimeh, could not enter Malaysia due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lawyers Azamuddin Abd Aziz and Nur Syahirah Hanapiah, representing Najib and Rosmah, also confirmed the matter and said the court had set Nov 22 for further case management.

Najib, Rosmah and Samer are the third parties wanting to claim the jewellery in a forfeiture application filed by the prosecution against Obyu Holdings, owned by businessman Bustari Yusof.

On July 25 last year, Najib and Rosmah inspected 306 handbags, 401 watches, 16 watch accessories and 234 pairs of spectacles seized from the same premises.

In 2019, the prosecution filed the forfeiture application to seize various items including 11,991 items of jewellery, 401 watch straps and 16 watch accessories, 234 pairs of spectacles, and 306 handbags as well as cash in various denominations amounting to RM114,164,393.44.

The money and jewellery were seized by the authorities as the assets were allegedly linked to the 1MDB scandal.

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