Matthias, Husam drop suit against Red Granite, Riza Aziz


PETALING JAYA: Lawyer Matthias Chang and former PAS vice-president Husam Musa have withdrawn their class action suit against Red Granite Pictures, along with principals Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the duo’s decision to do so “remains to be seen.”

“They moved to voluntarily dismiss the suit without prejudice, according to court documents filed Friday, so they could take another shot at it,” the entertainment portal reported, adding that the plaintiffs’ attorney Louis Burke had not yet responded to a request for comment.

Red Granite meanwhile sent The Hollywood Reporter a statement stating that dismissing the “frivolous lawsuit” was the right thing to do because it never should have been filed in the first place.

In August, Chang and Husam filed a suit “on behalf of all Malaysian citizens” in which they sought damages and the return of property and other assets which they alleged were purchased using money stolen from the government-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The suit said the money raised through bond offerings by 1MDB was used to fund Red Granite, which financed the film Wolf of Wall Street.

Chang was the former political secretary to Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a harsh critic of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Red Granite meanwhile was founded in 2010 by Riza and his friend McFarland.

Riza was among those named in a suit filed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) which claimed that more than USD3.5 billion was diverted from the 1MDB fund that Najib founded in 2009, shortly after coming to power. Riza is Najib’s stepson.

The US civil suits are seeking to seize USD1 billion of the allegedly embezzled assets that were transferred to the United States using shell companies.

The DoJ also alleged offences were committed over a four-year period and involved multiple individuals, including Malaysian officials and their associates, who conspired to fraudulently divert billions of dollars from 1MDB.

Apart from Riza, it also named Jho Low, and Abu Dhabi government officials Khadem al-Qubaisi and Mohamed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny.