Riza Aziz to be called as prosecution witness in 1MDB trial

KUALA LUMPUR (May 19): The prosecution in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-Tanore trial told the High Court today that they intend to call Riza Aziz as a witness as he is ready to give evidence.

Riza, who is the stepson of the accused, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, will be added to the witness list.

Lead deputy public prosecutor in the trial, Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, said Riza is willing to testify and give evidence to the prosecution.

“We will make a formal application,” Sri Ram told presiding judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

However, it is unknown when the application will be made or when he will be called to the witness stand.

Riza has been in the centre of a media storm as it was reported last Thursday that Sessions Court judge Azman Ahmad allowed the prosecution's request that Riza be given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal of five money laundering charges that amounted to charges involving US$248 million (RM1.25 billion), allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB funds.

Sri Ram had said the prosecution had considered Riza's representation very carefully.

“An agreement has been arrived at between the prosecution and the accused under the terms of which the federal government will receive a substantial sum running into several millions of ringgit,” Sri Ram said then.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission claimed that the deal was agreed upon by former attorney-general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, who had disputed this twice.

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