Lawyer wants High Court to review Riza Aziz’s discharge

The lawyer wants the High Court judges to revise the decision of the Sessions Court judge who issued the discharge not amounting to acquittal order. (Reuters pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: A lawyer has filed an application urging any of the High Court judges here to review the discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) given to Hollywood producer Riza Aziz over five counts of money laundering charges amounting to US$248 million (RM1.08 billion).

Shaharudin Ali said he sent a letter to the Registrar of the High Court of Malaya as there were six judges who heard criminal cases and appeals in Kuala Lumpur.

“It is for one of the judges to revise the decision of the Sessions Court judge who issued the DNAA order.”

Shaharudin said his letter focused on the application of section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code and whether the lower court judge had exercised his discretion correctly.

On May 14, Sessions Court judge Azman Ahmad allowed the application after ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram told the court this would be subject to Riza fulfilling his side of the bargain.

Sri Ram said an agreement had been reached between the prosecution and the accused under the terms of which Putrajaya would receive a substantial sum, running into several million ringgit.

Sri Ram said steps would be taken to ensure that Riza, who is the stepson of ex-prime minister Najib Razak, would only be given a full acquittal upon satisfactory completion of the agreement.

“The prosecution reserves the right to reinstate the charges and prosecute the accused to the full limit of the law,” he had said.

News of Riza’s DNAA has resulted in a public debate as to whether Attorney-General Idrus Harun had used his discretion judiciously and the role played by former AG Tommy Thomas.

Riza claimed trial in July last year to 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.

Riza, who is the son of Rosmah Mansor, was accused of receiving the money between April 2011 and November 2012 at City National Bank in Los Angeles, California, as well as at BSI Bank at Temasek Boulevard in Singapore.

The offence under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act carries a jail term of up to five years and a maximum fine of RM5 million or five times the amount of the proceeds, whichever is higher.

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