Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Court fixes Dec 6 for case management of Hollywood producer Riza Aziz’s US$248m money laundering charges

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The Sessions Court here today set December 6 for case management of Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, the stepson of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, money laundering charges amounting to US$248 million (RM1.25 billion), allegedly misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Judge Rozina Ayob set the date after Former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram informed the court that the prosecution had yet to complete several documents relating to the case.

“The prosecution needs a little more time to obtain several documents related to the case. All documents will be completed in the near future and other documents have been submitted to the defence,” he said when the case was mentioned today.

Lawyer Datuk Hariharan Tara Singh representing Riza Aziz, 42, confirmed the matter.

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Sri Ram also informed the court the High Court yesterday had dismissed the defence application to transfer the case from Session Court to the High Court and the case will go on in this court.

On August 9, Sessions Court Judge Rozina Ayob set January 6 to 9 and January 13 to 16 for the trial.

On July 5, Riza, owner of Red Granite Pictures pleaded not guilty to five charges.

On the first charge, the producer of Wolf of The Wall Street was accused of being involved in money laundering proceeds from unlawful activities amounting to US$1,173,104 via a transaction made from an account with the number 11116073 which belonged to Good Star Limited at RBS Coutts, Switzerland to account number 123248291 of City National Bank, Los Angeles, USA belonging to Red Granite Productions Inc.

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The money was allegedly misappropriated from IMDB funds between April 12 and May 12 at City National Bank, Los Angeles Main, 525 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, California, USA.

On the second charge, Riza Aziz, who is the son of Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor from her previous marriage, was accused of committing the same offence involving US$9 million via transfers from the same account on September 10, 2012, and October 10, 2012, at the same premises.

On the third and fourth charges, he was accused of the same offence involving US$133 million and US$60 million in money transfers from account number 81134378 belonging to Aabar Investment PJS Limited, at BSI SA, Lugano, Switzerland to account number 6C02250A at BSI Bank Limited, Singapore belonging to Red Granite Capital Ltd.

The offence was allegedly committed at BSI Ltd, 7 Temasek Boulevard, #32-01 Suntec Tower One, Singapore on June 18, 2012, and Oct 23, 2012.

On the fifth charge, Riza Aziz was accused of committing the same offence amounting to US$45 million at the same venue on November 14, 2012.

The charges were framed according to Section 4(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 upon conviction.

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