Sept 23 hearing for Riza Aziz’s application to transfer case to High Court


The High Court here today set Sept 23 to hear the defence’s application to transfer the case of Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz (picture), the stepson of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on money laundering charges amounting to US$248 million (RM1.25 billion), allegedly misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) from the Sessions Court to the High Court.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said the application hearing would be held before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

“The parties have been ordered to file their written arguments on or before Sept 17,” he said when met by reporters after case management in the chambers of High Court deputy registrar Mohmad Som.

He said the prosecution had filed its affidavit reply on Aug 23 on the defence’s application.

Counsel Syazwani Mohd Zawawi who is representing Riza, 42, told reporters that the defence had filed an affidavit for the application on Aug 16.

Asked on the grounds of the defence in filing the application, the lawyer said among others, the case involved complex legal questions as well as issues relating to 1MDB.

Ahmad Akram said the prosecution would object the defence’s application as the case did not involved questions on laws which are difficult and complicated.

“Sessions Court Judge Rozina Ayob is competent to hear the case. If the case is transferred to the High Court, it would delay proceedings,” he told the media when asked on the grounds the prosecution is objecting to the defence’s application.

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

For 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.

The money was allegedly misappropriated from IMDB funds.          

He was accused of committing the offences between April 12 and May 12 at City National Bank, Los Angeles Main, 525 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Riza 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 Sept 10 2012 and Oct 10 2012 at the same premises.

For the third and fourth charges, he was charged over 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.

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

According to the fifth charge, the accused was charged with committing the same offence amounting to US$45 million at the same venue on Nov 2012.

The charges were framed according 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.