KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 — Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz has agreed to forfeit over RM600,000 in various currencies, which were seized from homes belonging to his mother Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and stepfather Datuk Seri Najib Razak, related to his recent discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) over money laundering charges.
Business daily The Edge reported that Riza had agreed to surrender the cash, specifically amounting to RM537,000, Sri Lankan rupee 2.87 million (RM67,206.06), and British pound sterling 2,700 (RM14,332.06), with the total coming up to RM618,538 (based on the latest exchange rates).
The report noted how the cash handed over by Riza, also the co-founder of Red Granite Pictures that produced Oscar nominated film The Wolf of Wall Street, was part of the RM31 million loot seized from Najib’s home on Jalan Langgak Duta that is being sought by the prosecution and government in relation to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
It was explained how High Court Justice Mohamad Zaini Mazlan today had allowed for an application to forfeit the monies, submitted by deputy public prosecutors (DPP) Faten Hadi Khairuddin and Harris Ong Jeffrey Ong, after having been informed of the accused’s agreement to hand over the cash as a condition of being granted a DNAA decision.
This comes after an agreement had been reached between Riza’s legal representations and the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), resulting in the granting of the DNAA last Thursday, over his five counts of money laundering amounting to some US$248 million (RM1.07 billion) said to have been siphoned from 1MDB.
“Riza Aziz had agreed to forfeit several of the assets in the United States and also in Malaysia as part of a condition to drop the five charges where the Sessions Court recorded a discharge not amounting to an acquittal,” Faten was quoted as saying in the report today.
It was noted how the DPP had also requested for the court to record that no objections were raised over the seized monies by the lawyers of both Najib and Rosmah, where their respective counsels, Nursyahirah Hanifiah and Azrul Zulkifli Stork, were both present and affirmed that they would not be contesting the forfeiture.
The forfeiture of funds from Riza was then recorded by Mohamad Zaini.
It was also noted in the report that Riza is, however, contesting six of the 10 watches seized from Najib’s home, which were also part of the RM31 million loot confiscated in May 2018 following investigations into 1MDB by the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
The decision to grant Riza a DNAA has been criticised by the public following a back and forth between the MACC and former attorney general (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas over who had given the green light to grant the discharge.
To note, the final decision to grant the discharge was made under the stewardship of the current AG Tan Sri Idrus Harun, who had said the settlement had been agreed in principle by his predecessor Thomas.
These claims have been repeatedly denied by Thomas, who was appointed AG by the former Pakatan Harapan coalition, with many also calling on former Federal Court judge and appointed Senior DPP Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram to justify how the agreement was made between the two parties.