Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s defence lawyer has today, 10 June, lambasted the police for its alleged poor work ethics for using ‘magic ink’ markers to write on handbags belonging to Najib’s wife
Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said the police adopted a “could not care less” attitude when sorting out items owned by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Nooryana Najwa Najib, who are the former premier’s wife and daughter respectively, reported New Straits Times.
According to him, the police knew most of the handbags are worth tens of thousands of ringgit each, but they chose to destroy them by writing on them.
“There was no respect whatsoever for the items seized,” Shafee told the court.
“The police tagged the seized items using magic ink markers directly on each bag and everything else. There was no respect for the items seized at all.”
The items were seized a few days after Najib’s administration lost federal power following the 14th General Election (GE14) in May 2018
The confiscated goods were valued at RM680 million in total. It took five Black Maria lorries to carry away the goods from Pavilion Residences, where three apartments in the building were linked to Najib’s family members.
The items include luxury handbags, shoes, watches, jewellery, and cash of various denominations.
It is alleged that they were purchased with money siphoned from 1MDB, but Najib had repeatedly defended that the items were “gifts accumulated over decades”.
Shafee raised the concern about the matter in court today when he was requesting permission to inspect the items
The items are currently kept in a vault in Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and it is accessible only through authorised officers.
During his application, Shafee also accused the police of breaching protocol when they raided Najib’s apartments without the presence of the property owner, reported The Edge Markets.
“They forcefully opened the apartment and entered the building, they did not document the exhibits properly. If you look at the search list, it’s a joke,” said the defence lawyer.
He complained that the police did not itemise the content in the boxes after being taken out of the premises.
“They just listed the items as ‘kotak’ (boxes) but we don’t know what on earth is in there,” he said.
He told the court that his client has a right to inspect the items because the police had mislabelled and even defaced the items.
However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Fatnin Yusof rubbished Shafee’s accusations and said everything was documented properly.
She then urged the court to deny Shafee’s application on security grounds as the seized items valued over RM680 million.
After hearing from both sides, Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin ruled in favour of Najib. He will be allowed to physically inspect the items at the BNM vault with the presence of his lawyer.
This is not the first time the court has allowed a party to conduct a physical inspection on the confiscated goods
Malaysiakini reported that the court had previously allowed Global Royalty Trading SAL and Rosmah to inspect the items following a ruling on 11 March. The court granted the party to conduct physical inspection within 30 days of the order.
However, due to the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) on 18 March, the Lebanese jeweller could not enter the country.
The company claimed that 44 pieces of jewellery worth USD14.79 million (RM62.7 million) were sent to Rosmah for viewing at the time, but the police had indiscriminately seized all items at Najib’s premises.
The court has not set a new date for Global Royalty Trading SAL, Rosmah, and Najib to inspect the jewellery together.