MACC boss stands by statement on Riza deal after ex-AG’s denial

Tommy Thomas (left) claims he did not agree to a deal to recover millions of money from Riza Aziz, but MACC chief Azam Baki says decisions are based on prosecutors involved in the case.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has maintained that it was right in saying that a settlement with Riza Aziz was agreed upon by former attorney-general Tommy Thomas, saying it was based on the decision by the case’s prosecution team.

MACC chief Azam Baki was responding to Thomas who reportedly denied that he had agreed to the settlement with Riza, the stepson of former prime minister Najib Razak who was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today over his money laundering case.

“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 told FMT.

MACC earlier today explained that Riza’s charges would be dropped in exchange for the recovery of overseas assets worth an estimated US$107.3 million (RM465.3 million), saying the move had been agreed upon by Thomas.

Azam stood by the anti-graft agency’s statement, saying a deputy public prosecutor involved in the case had said that Thomas agreed with 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,” he said.

“Never mind if the former AG wants to deny, that’s up to him. We stand by our statement.”

Thomas reportedly said he was aware of written representations from Riza’s lawyers and he had handed over the documents to ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram.

However, he said there was no agreement to drop the charges before he resigned as attorney-general, adding that it was false and fabricated to say that he gave his agreement.

Riza, the son of Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor from her previous marriage, was charged with five counts of money laundering amounting to US$248 million.

Judge Azman Ahmad allowed the application to grant him a discharge after ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram told the court this would be subject to the accused fulfilling his side of the bargain.

Riza claimed trial in July 2019 to the money laundering charges allegedly involving funds received from Good Star Ltd and Aabar Investments PJS Ltd.

The two companies were said to be linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low.

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