Court allows govt to forfeit nearly RM600,000 seized from Riza Aziz


THE High Court here today allowed the government to forfeit almost RM600,000 in cash belonging to Hollywood producer Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz (picture), the stepson of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, that was seized by the police two years ago.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan made the ruling during hearing of the forfeiture application filed by  government on May 7, 2019, over the seizure of  hundreds of items and cash from Najib, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, their three children and 13 others for allegedly linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

He made the ruling after being informed by deputy public prosecutor Faten Hadni Khairuddin on the settlement reached between the prosecution and Riza Shahriz for the latter  to be given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) over five money laundering charges.

This was on the agreement that Riza Shahriz agreed to forfeit the money seized by the Malaysian government, to the Malaysian government.

The money referred to was RM537,000, Pound Sterling 2,700 and Sri Lanka Rupee 2,870,000 that was seized from the house occupied by Riza, Najib and Rosmah Mansor on May 17, 2018.

“The third respondent (Riza) has made a claim on this property (cash), but he has agreed that the property be forfeited to the government.

“In this regard, I would like the court to record that there is no claim from the first respondent (Najib) and the second respondent (Rosmah) who are staying at the same address on the seized property, ” she added.

Lawyers  Nur Syahirah Hanapiah and Azrul Zulkifli Stork, representing Najib and Rosmah, respectively, then informed the court that their clients did not object to the agreement and would not make any claim on the property.

The court the set Aug 24 to hear the forfeiture suit against the others.

Riza Shahriz was given the DNAA by the Sessions Court on last May 14

Former Federal Court judge  Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who was appointed as senior DPP in Riza Shahriz’s case, informed the court that since the filing of the charges, the accused had made several representations through his solicitors to the relevant authorities.

He said these representations had been considered most carefully by those concerned, whereby an agreement had been arrived at between the prosecution and the accused under the terms of which the federal government would receive a substantial sum running into several million ringgit.