Tommy Thomas Absolutely Shocked By Macc S Claim Of His Involvement In Riza Aziz Case Decision


PETALING JAYA: Former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas has detailed a timeline of events disputing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) claim implicating him in the decision of the case involving Riza Abdul Aziz
Riza Aziz, the stepson of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the Sessions Court here over five counts of money laundering charges involving US$248mil (RM1.25bil) linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)
Thomas said he felt compelled to issue a statement because his name had been wrongly and unfairly dragged into the Riza Abdul Aziz case
He was referring to the MACC's statement on May 14 claiming that the agreement between the prosecution and the accused, through representation in court, was a decision previously considered and agreed upon by Thomas
The MACC also said the government was expected to recover overseas assets worth an estimated US$107.3mil (RM465.3mil)
Thomas refuted all claims, dismissing them as "lies"
"The true position follows. Riza was charged with five counts of money laundering before the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on July 5,2019. I made the decision to charge him
"The only other decision I took in the case against Riza was to appoint Gopal Sri Ram to lead the prosecution
"Thereafter, I left the day-to-day handling of the case to him and the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) from the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) assisting Sri Ram," he said
Thomas said the solicitors acting for Riza Aziz submitted a written representation seeking a review of the criminal charges against their client
"Written representations are received by AGC on a daily basis from lawyers acting for accused facing criminal trials and appeals
"Hence, there was nothing sinister about the sending of representations by Riza's solicitors
"Whether I personally acted in agreeing to their request for a discharge is an altogether separate issue. I did not. It is as plain and simple as that," he said
Thomas said he did not receive any advice from Sri Ram pertaining to the case until the day he resigned on Feb 28
"Thus, I did not decide on the representations of Riza prior to my resignation," said Thomas
He said on March 12, the DPP applied for a new date for the case to allow the AGC to make a decision on the representation submitted by Riza Aziz
"The DPP's request was to allow the newly-appointed attorney general time to review the representation, according to media reports. Apparently the case was postponed to April 2," he said
Tommy noted that Riza's Counsel Hariharan Singh was quoted in a media report on April 2 as saying that he was still awaiting a reply from AGC to his client's representation
And subsequently on May 14 the Sessions Court Judge granted Riza a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) in relation to his criminal charges, on the application made by ad hoc prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram
Thomas said the decision to accept Riza's representation must have been made between April 2 and May 14, when he was no longer serving as the attorney general
Therefore, he said MACC's claim he had agreed to the decision was clearly false
"To compound matters, after I corrected MACC's false statement on the evening of May 14, the MACC responded by stating that they stood by their first statement
"This is absolutely shocking. It would mean that I took the decision to drop the prosecution against Riza on or before Feb 28," he said
Thomas said the court would then have made a decision at the earliest opportunity on March 12 and not wait until 10 weeks later
"I trust that this will set the record straight. Truth and facts matter dearly to me," he said. - Star

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