Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, the stepson of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was discharged not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) today from five money laundering charges.
Sessions Court judge Azman Ahmad granted the DNAA to Riza after an agreement was met between the latter and the prosecution.
The statement (on the agreement) was read out in open court by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.
In the statement, Sri Ram said the accused had made several representations and after the representations have been considered carefully, several decisions have been reached.
Under the terms agreed by both parties, he said the Federal Government will receive a substantial sum amounting to millions of ringgit.
“The sums have direct reference to the subject matter of the charges framed in this case…the accused has throughout this process received adequate and competent legal representation,” he said.
Sri Ram said as a consequence of the agreement, the charges against the accused will not proceed pending the completion of the terms of the agreement.
He added that upon satisfactory completion of the terms of agreement, steps will be taken to ensure the accused obtains a full acquittal.
However, in the event the prosecution found that there is no satisfactory completion of the agreement, the charges against the accused will be reinstated.
The judge then gave Riza a DNAA and ordered for the accused’s bail money of RM1 million to be returned.
Riza was represented today by Hariharan Tara Singh and Tania Sciavetti.
The 43-year-old accused did not speak to the press after the proceedings.
Riza had sent his representation to the Attorney-General’s Chambers on November 18, his lawyers previously said.
On July 5, last year, the Hollywood producer pleaded not guilty to five counts of involvement in money laundering activities involving US$248 million (RM1.25 billion), which were misappropriated from sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
According to the charges, Riza, popularly known as Riza Aziz, allegedly received proceeds from unlawful activities that originated from 1MDB amounting to US$248,173,104, which was transferred into two of Red Granite Productions Inc’s accounts via wire transfer.
Two transactions of US$1,173,104 and US$9,000,000 were made from an account belonging to Good Star Ltd at RBS Coutts Bank, Zurich, Switzerland.
The other three transactions of US$133,000,000, US$60,000,000 and US$45,000,000 came from an account belonging to Aabar Investments PJS Limited at BSI SA Lugano, Switzerland.
The offences were allegedly committed at the City National Bank, Los Angeles Main, 525 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, California, the United States, and at BSI Bank Ltd, 7 Temasek Boulevard, #32-01 Suntec Tower One, Singapore, between April 12, 2011, and Nov 14, 2012.
The charges were framed under Section 41(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001, which carries a fine not exceeding RM5 million or imprisonment not exceeding five years, or both.