Mahathir, referring to Riza’s discharge, says plea bargain not practised in Malaysia

Previously, Mahathir voiced concern that the move could set a precedent in graft cases in which “thieves will be let off if they return the stolen money.” Source (pic): TTF Files

محضير، مروجوق ڤلڤاسن ريز، دعوا ڤڽلساين يڠ دچاڤاي تيدق دڬونا ڤاكاي د مليسيا

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the concept of plea-bargaining was foreign to Malaysia in a sense that the country had neither accepted nor practiced it.

According to the former premier, plea-bargaining is practiced in the United States, where even there, it is about information that would give the government bigger gains, not about returning stolen money, let alone half the sum stolen.

“He will source it from the money seized by the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the United States of America. Now this money would, by agreement with the previous Attorney General (AG), be returned to Malaysia upon proof that it belongs to Malaysia.

“So what Riza Aziz is willing to return is less than half of the money which will be seized by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), which the department is going to return to Malaysia. The bigger chunk of the money stolen by Riza would be retained by him. In other words, he is going to retain money stolen by him and be acquitted as well.”


PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the concept of plea-bargaining was foreign to Malaysia in a sense that the country had neither accepted nor practiced it.

According to the former premier, plea-bargaining is practiced in the United States, where even there, it is about information that would give the government bigger gains, not about returning stolen money, let alone half the sum stolen.




Mahathir was referring to a decision by Malaysian prosecutors to drop all money laundering charges against the stepson of former premier Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Riza Aziz, in a move slammed by a Human Rights watchdog as a “triumph for impunity and corruption.”

Previously, Mahathir voiced concern that the move could set a precedent in graft cases in which “thieves will be let off if they return the stolen money.”

According to facts of the case, Riza reached a settlement agreement with the Government of Malaysia (GoM) and was discharged on Thursday without being acquitted.

The move, sad the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commision (MACC), would allow the GoM to recover $107.3 million of overseas assets, roughly 43 percent of the $248 million Aziz was alleged to have laundered from 1MDB.

Riza is also required to pay an unspecified fine. According to Mahathir, the concession given to Riza Aziz is unique.

“He will source it from the money seized by the Department of Justice (DoJ) of the United States of America.

“Now this money would, by agreement with the previous Attorney General (AG), be returned to Malaysia upon proof that it belongs to Malaysia.

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“So what Riza Aziz is willing to return is less than half of the money which will be seized by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), which the department is going to return to Malaysia.

“The bigger chunk of the money stolen by Riza would be retained by him. In other words, he is going to retain money stolen by him and be acquitted as well.

“All the people involved in making this decision are protesting that they did not make the decision. Obviously, they know that the decision is wrong,” the former premier said.

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