KUALA LUMPUR – 1MDB critic Khairuddin Abu Hassan has obtained a court order to advertise his lawsuit in two newspapers against Low Taek Jho to demand the return of a 22-carat pink diamond set in a necklace allegedly in the hands of Rosmah Mansor.
Khairuddin’s lawyer, Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar Al Mahdzar, said High Court deputy registrar P Pavani allowed his client’s application as the summons and statement of claim could not be served on the businessman, also known as Jho Low, at his home address in Tanjung Bungah, Penang.
“We will advertise the court papers in an English and Chinese daily as three attempts to serve the documents last month failed,” he told reporters after a case management of the suit today.
Syed Iskandar said the summons and statement of claim would also be displayed on the notice board at the Jalan Duta court premises here.
He said Rosmah, the wife of the prime minister, and 1MDB had also applied for a stay from filing their defence pending the outcome of their application to strike out Khairuddin’s suit.
“The court has given us a series of scheduled dates to exchange documents before another case management on Nov 9,” he said, adding that Khairuddin would object to the stay application.
On Aug 16, the former Umno leader filed the suit seeking a court order for Rosmah to return the US$27.3 million jewellery to 1MDB, the sovereign wealth fund.
Khairuddin said 1MDB had obtained US$6.5 billion (RM27.93 billion) by borrowing from overseas lenders, and that the company was the beneficial owner of the money.
Khairuddin said between June 2013 and March 2014, Jho Low, acting through his agent Tan Kim Loong, purchased the jewellery from Loraine Schwartz in New York.
He said although the jewellery belonged to 1MDB, it would not take action to recover the valuables because the company was under the control of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) had filed two civil forfeiture lawsuits against assets worth US$1.8 billion (RM7.7 billion) that it claimed were bought with funds stolen from 1MDB.
The suits comprised the largest legal action brought under the DoJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.
The first suit was filed on July 21 last year in which the term “MO1” (Malaysian Official 1) was mentioned 36 times.
On June 15, the DoJ, in its court filings, said nearly US$30 million was allegedly stolen from the sovereign wealth fund and used to buy jewellery.
The filings lodged at the US district court in Los Angeles did not identify Najib or Rosmah by name, but said the jewellery purchases were for the wife of “Malaysian Official 1”.
The Prime Minister’s Office had said in a statement that it was “concerned by the unnecessary and gratuitous naming of certain matters and individuals that are only relevant to domestic political manipulation and interference”.
Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing while Rosmah has dismissed claims of being a beneficiary in any way from 1MDB funds.