ABOVE + BELOW – Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz

On July 5, Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, owner of Red Granite Pictures pleaded not guilty to five charges. — Picture by Miera Zulyana




KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 31): The Sessions court today has tentatively fixed May 4 to May 6, and May 24 to May 29, to begin proceedings on Riza Aziz for money laundering charges levelled against him.

Riza, who is the stepson of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is to be tried on five money laundering charges involving US$248.17 million (RM1.18 billion) allegedly misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The dates were tentatively set, pending an outcome of a review of the charges by the prosecution.

Riza’s lawyer Datuk Hariharan Tara Singh had informed Sessions Court Judge Rozina Ayob that they had written to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) in November to reconsider the charges against his client.

“We have yet to get a reply,” he told the judge today.

Rozina fixed Feb 25 to update her of the development of the representation the defence had made to the AGC.

Riza Aziz is accused of receiving the 1MDB-linked funds through the bank accounts of Hollywood production house Red Granite Productions Inc which he co-founded, and was itself charged in the US for misappropriation of monies from the investment fund between April 12, 2011 and Nov 14, 2012.

The funds were transferred to Red Granite’s accounts in the US and Singapore from the Swiss accounts of Good Star Ltd linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho (Jho Low), and Aabar Investments PJS Ltd.

Each charge, filed under Section 4(1)(a) of the Amlatfa, carries a maximum of five years’ of jail and/or a maximum of RM5 million fine.

Najib is also facing charges concerning 1MDB, while his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor has been charged with receiving kickbacks for a solar hybrid project involving rural schools in Sarawak.