KUALA LUMPUR: De facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan today claimed there are letters to show there was interference by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former finance minister Lim Guan Eng in a case involving a tycoon linked to 1MDB.
He said there are minutes of a meeting held on Dec 5, 2018 which stated that Mahathir had asked for a freeze on the tycoon’s account to be lifted.
Takiyuddin said the tycoon was involved in a 1MDB case amounting to RM4 million.
“When he had to face MACC, he (the tycoon) had asked his lawyer to do a letter of representation to MACC on Oct 20, 2018, during PH’s administration,” he said.
He said Mahathir had asked for the letter to be minuted.
According to the minutes, Takiyuddin said, Mahathir had on Dec 5, 2018 written a letter saying that the tycoon should not be blamed in the case.
Due to that, he said the freeze should be lifted, Takiyuddin added while reading parts the letter.
He claimed Lim followed this up by writing to the attorney-general to lift the freeze on the tycoon’s account.
Following this, then-AG Tommy Thomas wrote to Lim on May 31, 2019 stating that the freeze had been lifted, but Takiyuddin did not reveal the details.
Takiyuiddin said there were other letters to ask for the freeze on the tycoon’s account to be lifted.
“The instructions were from the AG to MACC to lift …,” he said, before his voice was drowned by shouts from the opposition MPs.
But Takiyuddin said: “Documents speak louder than words.”
Riza Aziz’s money laundering case
On Hollywood producer Riza Aziz’s money laundering case involving US$248 million (RM1.08 billion), Takiyuddin said Thomas had agreed in principle to setting aside the charges after Riza’s lawyers presented a letter of representation.
“Thomas read the letter of representation (a day after it was sent on Nov 19, 2019) and after reading it, made a handwritten note in red ink,” he said.
He said the note was addressed to someone named Ram, “everyone knows him”, referring to lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram.
“Ram in the light of the statement in paragraphs 5.10, 5.14, 5.15, 5.18 and 5.19. I am prepared to consider a representation. Paragraph 5.20 contains the terms of the proposed settlement, I await your advice,” he said, reading the note.
He said this showed Thomas had agreed in principle for Riza’s case to be compounded and with settlement without prosecution.
Takiyuddin said the AGC’s records showed Thomas had held discussions with MACC’s former chief Latheefa Koya over Riza’s representation.
He said there was another note, dated March 11 this year, on the same matter.
Perikatan Nasional then took over the country’s administration and a new attorney-general was appointed after Thomas resigned, he added.
Hanipa Maidin (PH-Sepang) said Takiyuddin was misleading the Dewan Rakyat as Thomas had used the words such as “I am prepared” and “I am waiting for Gopal’s advice”.
“That is not necessarily the same (as saying) he agreed. That is misleading,” Hanipa said.