Hollywood film producer Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz will be the third member of former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s family to be hauled to court by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
The stepson of the former prime minister will be charged under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds from Unlawful Activities Act (Amla) 2001.
Riza’s mother Rosmah Mansor is also on trial on graft charges along with Najib, who is facing multiple charges of corruption, abuse of power and money laundering.
MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said Riza was arrested at noon yesterday and later released on bail.
“He has to appear in court to face charges under Amla,” she said.
Riza, a known associate of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, is expected to face several money laundering charges at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today.
According to a news portal, Riza is to be charged with receiving money from Good Star Ltd, a company linked to Low.
Latheefa also said that only Riza would be brought to court today.
A report had earlier said that another close associate of Najib would be hauled to court along with Riza.
Riza was grilled last year by the MACC over allegations that funds misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Bhd were used to finance films which his company produced.
He is the co-founder of Red Granite Pictures which, among others, produced the film The Wolf of Wall Street.
He is one of Rosmah’s two children from a previous marriage.
Meanwhile, Najib’s daughter Nooryana Najwa Najib took to social media in a bid to defend her stepbrother.
On Instagram, she said Riza had faced a civil lawsuit over the same matter in the United States, where Red Granite had paid a substantial amount to the US Department of Justice.
“But despite the settlement in the US and the fact that alleged wrongdoings occurred entirely outside of Malaysia, MACC decides to press charges after a whole year of leaving this case in cold storage.
“He is not a criminal, he’s my brother,” she said in a caption to a photograph of herself and Riza.