Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan today revealed that a written note by former Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas shows that he had agreed, in principle, to film producer Riza Aziz’s terms of settlement.
This is in regard to Riza’s money-laundering settlement of over US$248 million in funds linked to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.
On May 14, the Sessions Court granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) to Riza.
According to Takiyuddin, the letter contains Thomas’ minutes on Riza’s letter of representation which was submitted by his lawyers.
“On Nov 19, 2019, Thomas had examined the letter of representation (from Riza’s lawyers). After he examined the letter, Thomas, as the (then) AG, made a handwritten note, in red ink, on this letter.
“The note is to someone named Ram, whom I think everyone knows,” he said, referring to the case’s lead prosecutor, Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.
“(Thomas) said to Ram: ‘In light of the statements in paragraph 5.10, 5.14, 5.15, 5.18 and 5.19, I am prepared to consider this representation. Paragraph 5.20 contains the terms of the proposed settlements, I await your advice’.
“Signed by TT (Thomas), on Nov 19, with the Attorney-General’s rubber stamp. In other words, the A-G, in general, had agreed for Riza’s case to be compounded and settled without being prosecuted. That is important,” Takiyuddin said during his winding-up speech in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Riza Aziz is former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s stepson.
Furthermore, according to Takiyuddin, records show that Sri Ram held discussions with the then Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Latheefa Koya, with the former suggesting that the MACC accept Riza’s representation.
“Therefore, on March 11, Riza’s solicitors sent another letter of representation fortifying the earlier proposal and undertook that Riza would comply with the terms and conditions.
“Subsequent to that, when Perikatan Nasional took over the government, and there was a change in the A-G, the new A-G was briefed by his deputy public prosecutors handling the case, and they informed him of the stance made by the previous A-G,” he said.
Hanipa Maidin (PH-Sepang) then interjected and accused Takiyuddin of misleading the Dewan Rakyat by drawing a conclusion on Thomas’ brief note on the letter.
“To me, you cannot just draw a conclusion that Thomas agreed to the settlement. He said he was prepared, then he said he was waiting for advice from Sri Ram.
“To me, based on the letter, Sri Ram had to give advice but that doesn’t mean he had to heed it, but you (Takiyuddin) say he had agreed. To me, that is misleading,” he said.
Takiyuddin responded by reiterating his remark that Sri Ram had discussed the matter with Latheefa that the MACC accept the terms of the settlement. – NST