Report: MACC insists former AG Tommy Thomas gave okay for Riza Aziz’s settlement

Azam stood by MACC’s original statement and pointed out that any deputy public prosecutor involved in the case had to receive Thomas’ approval regarding the decision. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Azam stood by MACC’s original statement and pointed out that any deputy public prosecutor involved in the case had to receive Thomas’ approval regarding the decision. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has remained firm in stating that former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas’ prosecution team was behind the settlement with Riza Aziz, who was being investigated over his involvement in the 1MDB financial scandal.

In a report by online portal Free Malaysia Today last night, anti-graft chief Datuk Seri Azam Baki pointed out that during an ongoing court cases, the ultimate decision is made by the deputy public prosecutor.

“This is an ongoing case in court, so whatever decision is made by the deputy public prosecutor.

“We inform the public about what’s happening. That’s all,” Azam reportedly said in his response to Thomas’ denial that he had agreed for a settlement with Riza who was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court over his money laundering case.

MACC had explained that Riza, who is also the stepson of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, will have his charges dropped in exchange for the recovery of overseas assets that have an estimated worth of RM465.3 million.

However, The Malaysian Insight, on the other hand, reported that the former attorney general was only aware of a written representation to the Attorney General’s Chambers regarding the case, but he had handed it over to ad hoc prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram to examine.

Thomas said that there was no agreement to drop the charges before he stepped down as attorney general and claimed that the MACC had made a fabricated a false statement.

Azam, on the other hand, stood by MACC’s original statement and pointed out that any deputy public prosecutor involved in the case had to receive Thomas’ approval regarding the decision.

“Without their statement and permission, we wouldn’t have made any kind of confirmation to the public. This is what we were informed. Never mind if the former AG wants to deny, that’s up to him. We stand by our statement,” Azam said.

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