Saturday, October 31, 2020

Court sets January 2020 to hear Riza Aziz’s money-laundering case

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The Sessions Court Friday (Aug 9) set eight days in January next year to hear a money-laundering case involving Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz (pic), a stepson of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Judge Rozina Ayob set Jan 6 to 9 and Jan 13 to 16 to hear the case after Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who is leading the prosecution team, informed the court that the prosecution had no intention to transfer the case to the High Court.

Sri Ram, who is a former Federal Court judge, also told the court that the prosecution will call less than 10 witnesses and that one of them is from Singapore.

“The prosecution also submitted some of the documents relating to the case to the defence today, in accordance with Section 51A of the Criminal Procedure Code, ” said Sri Ram, who also informed the court that the prosecution had not received some documents from the United States.

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Lawyer Datuk Hariharan Tara Singh, representing Riza, did not raise any objection.

The court then set Sept 20 for mention.

Related‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Producer Riza Aziz Pleads Not Guilty To Laundering $248 Million

Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib of the prosecution team, when met by reporters after the proceedings, said the documents handed to the defence today involved several account statements from Switzerland and Singapore.

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On July 5 this year, Riza, 42, the owner of Red Granite Pictures, pleaded not guilty to five charges of money laundering involving US$248 million (RM1.25 billion) which was allegedly misappropriated from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund.

On the first count, the producer of the film The Wolf of Wall Street was charged with receiving US$1, 173, 104 in proceeds from unlawful activities through a money transfer transaction from an account belonging to Good Star Limited at RBS Coutts, Zurich, Switzerland, to an account belonging to Red Granite Productions Inc at City National Bank, Los Angeles, United States.

The funds were alleged to have been misappropriated from the 1MDB fund.

The offence was allegedly committed between April 12 and May 12, 2011, at City National Bank, Los Angeles Main, 525 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, California, United States.

RelatedNajib & Rosmah Step-Son Riza Aziz Admits He Stole 1MDB Money – Agreed To Hand Over US$60 Million From The Company He Owns

Riza was also charged with committing a similar offence, involving US$9 million, through a money transfer transaction from the same account on Sept 10, 2012, and Oct 10, 2012, at the same place.

On the third and fourth charges, he was charged with committing a similar offence, involving US$133 million and US$60 million, through money transfer transactions from an account number belonging to Aabar Investment PJS Limited at BSI SA, Lugano, Switzerland, to an account number belonging to Red Granite Capital Ltd at BSI Bank Limited, Singapore.

He was charged with committing the offence at BSI Ltd, 7 Temasek Boulevard, #32-01 Suntec Tower One, Singapore, on June 18, 2012, and Oct 23, 2012.

On the fifth count, Riza was charged with a similar offence, involving US$45 million, at the same place on Nov 14, 2012.

All the charges were made under Section 4(1) (a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 which provides for a maximum fine of RM5 million or imprisonment of up to five years, or both, upon conviction.

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