KUALA LUMPUR: Riza Aziz, the stepson of former prime minister Najib Razak, can be charged in a Malaysian court even though the offence he allegedly committed took place overseas.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said Section 82(1)(e) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 allows prosecution against a person in the country even though the alleged offence may be committed elsewhere.
“According to the Act, anyone who commits any offence involving property belonging to the government abroad may be treated as if the offence had been committed in the country,” Ahmad Akram said.
Riza, 42, the owner of Red Granite Pictures, pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here today to five counts of money laundering amounting to US$248 million (RM1.25 billion), believed to have been misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
He was charged with committing the offences at City National Bank in Los Angeles, California, and at BSI Ltd in Singapore in 2011 and 2012.
On the allegation that Red Granite had made a settlement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ), Ahmad Akram, who is among those in the prosecution’s team, said it was a civil settlement and did not clear Riza from the criminal charges.
In a Facebook post this afternoon, Najib said the charges against Riza were politically motivated.