Sarawak Report has learned from reliable sources connected to the Attorney General’s Chambers that the Riza Aziz plea deal represents just the ‘tip of an iceberg’ in terms of similar requests and bargain offers that are now piled up on the new incumbent’s desk.
“Riza’s request was a one-off in November as not many would have dared to attempt it under the previous AG. However, since the arrival of PN all the criminal lawyers representing some 25 or so of these UMNO defendants have been racing to come up with schemes to get their clients a deal”
was how an informant put it to Sarawak Report.
Riza’s deal was a priority for the main defendants over the billion dollar 1MDB scandal, Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah, who arranged for much of the money to be channelled not only into Najib’s accounts and into lavish gifts for Rosmah but also into funding Riza’s Hollywood investments.
Rosmah was the one who was in fact enamoured with the Hollywood investment idea, according to associates, and Najib went to great lengths to attempt to convince the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi that Riza had not been aware that the source was actually 1MDB or “money laundering”, evidenced by a phone recording released by the MACC. During the call Najib had asked the Crown Prince to pretend the money had come from him.
Sarawak Report has now flushed out the Riza plea as an empty deal for Malaysia, since all the producer agreed to offer up in return for his DNAA (Discharge Not Amounting to Aquittal) were assets that had already been seized by the Department of Justice in America.
In effect, despite refusing to accept that Riza was anything but guilty, the new Malaysian Attorney General has agreed to simply let him off. Both the AG and others caught up in the case have sought to subsequently justify their decisions first by suggesting it had already been made by the previous AG and, after that was angrily refuted, by claiming they were TOLD the decision had already been made by the previous AG.
The development raises grave concerns about the asset seizures being referred to from the United States:
“The US government must stop returning any more of Malaysia’s seized assets under these circumstances. The money must be placed in a trust – an interest bearing account – until the Malaysia electorate has had a chance to express its opinion about these matters”
says one inside observer. There was astonishment when representations by the new ‘PM8′ to the US state department last month resulted in the first $330 million retrieved from 1MDB being sent back to the PN government against the rules laid down for the US Kleptocracy Unit, which forbids the return of money to regimes including the people who stole it.
Meanwhile, criminal lawyers have been scrambling to produce further such sweetheart deals for their own clients, which include Rosmah and Najib themselves plus other UMNO warlords. This despite the straight faced promises that have been made by the likes of ‘PM8′ that his coup government (which hangs by a thread and relies on the support of UMNO as its largest party) is dedicated to flushing out corruption.
Yesterday, in his one hour speech to Parliament the Agong also stated the PN government’s alleged commitment to an ‘anti-corruption agenda’. In which case, all these dozens of pleas ought to be immediately binned.
That is what should have happened to the Riza letter of November 18th as well. AG Tommy Thomas clearly regrets he didn’t just throw it in the bin rather than pass it on to the prosecution team.
reflected Sarawak Report’s source on this matter.