Former attorney-general Tommy Thomas is said to be informing senior deputy public prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram that he was willing to accept a representation for Riza Aziz to withdraw charges against the Hollywood filmmaker if other requirements were fulfilled, including the recovery of over US$ 100 million belonging to 1MDB. He was referring to his successor Idrus Harun who said he had been advised yesterday that Thomas was in principle in agreement with the suggestion. 

Thomas, who resigned on Feb 28 after the fall of the Pakatan Harapan administration, stated, however, that if he had stayed in power, he would not have given Riza a discharge not equivalent to an acquittal (DNAA) for the money laundering charges. He said that if he had approved the order, he would have lost all credibility in the eyes of the people.

Adding that the Prime Minister and the Pakatan Harapan government had reposed in him, and he violated the confidence. Riza was charged with five counts of US$ 248 million in money laundering which he was charged with committing between 2011 and 2012. Thomas said he was pleased with the prosecutors making a good argument to determine the characteristics of Riza ‘s crime.

The video evidence was extensive and quite convincing that why upon sentencing, the defendant should have requested the trial judge to enforce a penalty commensurate with the seriousness of the charges, for a limit of 15 years on each crime. He added that the court may also have levied a fine of up to five times the amount involved in fraudulent activity, which would have risen to about US$ 1.2 billion.

He noted that he had not made a position on Riza ‘s role until the day of his resignation. A judgment of this nature affecting billions of ringgit and a major public interest must have been taken by him in writing. In fact, He haven’t, and none of them exists. The statement he had not been in contact with Idrus since leaving office, but had spoken to Sri Ram on a number of occasions between Feb 28 and May 14. But he never raised this subject. That’s why, after his resignation, He was kept in the dark on this and all other issues.

On Idrus’ statement yesterday that Malaysia is expected to recover approximately US$108 million. He added that the intention of prosecuting Riza was not to improve Malaysia’s chances of obtaining money from the DoJ, as the Organization should have returned it because it belonged to the government.

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