Riza Aziz may be called to testify in Najib’s 1MDB trial – Sri Ram

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 19  – Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, the stepson of  Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, may be called as a prosecution witness in the former prime minister’s trial involving RM2.3 billion in 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.

Lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram told High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah that Riza has indicated his readiness to give evidence for the prosecution in the case.

“Following this we may have to revise our list of witnesses,” he said on the resumption of Najib’s trial today.

Riza, 43, had been charged with five money-laundering charges involving US$248 million (RM1.25 billion) linked to 1MDB but was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) by the Sessions Court on May 14.

The prosecution had applied for Riza to be given DNAA after 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.

It was a conditional discharge, whereby the prosecution had the right to reinstate the charges if the agreement was not satisfactorily completed.

At a separate High Court today, the court allowed the government to forfeit almost RM600,000 in cash belonging to Riza that was seized by the police two years ago.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan made the ruling during a case management of the forfeiture application filed by the government over the seizure of  hundreds of items and cash from Najib, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, their three children and 13 others for being allegedly linked to the 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 for the latter to be given DNAA.

This was on the agreement that Riza 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 seized from the house occupied by Riza, Najib and Rosmah on May 17, 2018.