KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 2020: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has insisted that it was the prosecution team of former attorney-general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas that was responsible for the Riza Aziz’s settlement.
Riza, who is the step-son of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the court yesterday for five charges related to the 1MDB financial scandal.
Free Malaysia Today last night quoted MACC chief Datuk Seri Azam Baki as saying that the ultimate decision in an ongoing court case is made by the deputy public prosecutor.
“This is an ongoing case in court, so whatever decision is made by the deputy public prosecutor. We inform the public about what’s happening. That’s all,” he said.
Azam was responding to Thomas’ denial that he had agreed for a settlement after MACC had explained that Riza have his charges dropped in exchange for the recovery of overseas assets that have an estimated worth of RM465.3 million.
Azam pointed out that any deputy public prosecutor involved in the case had to receive Thomas’ approval regarding the decision.
“Without their statement and permission, we wouldn’t have made any kind of confirmation to the public. This is what we were informed. Never mind if the former AG wants to deny, that’s up to him. We stand by our statement,” Azam said.
The Malaysian Insight had earlier reported that the former attorney general claimed that he was only aware of a written representation to the Attorney General’s Chambers regarding the case, but he had handed it over to ad hoc prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram to examine.
Thomas said that there was no agreement to drop the charges before he stepped down as attorney general and accused the MACC of making a false statement.