High Court allows govt to keep RM600,000 seized from Riza

The High Court was told Riza Aziz made a claim on the cash seized by police two years ago.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today allowed RM600,000 in cash seized from Hollywood producer Riza Aziz, the stepson of former prime minister Najib Razak, two years ago to be forfeited by the government.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan made the ruling during hearing of the forfeiture application filed by the government on May 7, 2019, over the seizure of hundreds of items and cash from Najib, his wife Rosmah Mansor, their three children and 13 others allegedly linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

He made the ruling after being informed by deputy public prosecutor Faten Hadni Khairuddin on the settlement reached between the prosecution and Riza, that led to him being given a discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) over five money laundering charges amounting to more than US$248 million.

This was on the agreement that Riza agrees to forfeit the money seized by the Malaysian government.

The cash includes RM537,000, 2,700 pound sterling and 2,870,000 Sri Lanka rupees seized from the house occupied by Riza, Najib and Rosmah on May 17, 2018.

“The third respondent (Riza) has made a claim on this property (cash) but he has agreed that the property be forfeited to the government.

“In this regard, I would like the court to record that there is no claim from the first respondent (Najib) and the second respondent (Rosmah) who are staying at the same address on the seized property,” she said.

Lawyers Nur Syahirah Hanapiah and Azrul Zulkifli Stork, representing Najib and Rosmah, respectively, informed the court that their clients did not object to the agreement and would not make any claim on the cash.

The court then set Aug 24 to hear the forfeiture suit against the others.

Riza was given the DNAA by the Sessions Court here on May 14. Former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram, who was appointed as senior DPP in Riza’s case, told the court that since the filing of the charges, Riza had made several representations through his solicitors to the relevant authorities.

He said these representations had been considered carefully by those concerned, and an agreement had been arrived at between the prosecution and Riza, under the terms of which the federal government would receive a substantial sum running into several million ringgit.

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