Ex-PM Najib's stepson Riza Aziz grilled for third day at Malaysia's anti-graft agency

Mr Riza Aziz, stepson of former prime minister Najib Razak, arriving at the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission in Putrajaya on July 3, 2018.
Mr Riza Aziz, stepson of former prime minister Najib Razak, arriving at the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission in Putrajaya on July 3, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Mr Riza Aziz, the stepson of former premier Najib Razak, is back at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to be questioned for the third consecutive day.

He arrived at the agency's headquarters at 11.10am on Thursday (July 5), a day after his stepfather Najib was charged with corruption in the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Mr Riza had already spent two days with graft investigators where he was grilled for hours.

He is believed to have been questioned on the alleged use of funds misappropriated from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to finance several Hollywood films.

Mr Riza, 48, is the co-founder of Red Granite Pictures, which among others produced The Wolf Of Wall Street starring Leonardo DiCaprio, who won a Golden Globe in 2014 for his role.

According to Reuters, Red Granite had in March agreed to pay the US government US$60 million (S$82 million) to settle a civil lawsuit that sought to seize assets allegedly bought with money stolen from 1MDB.

US prosecutors filed a civil asset forfeiture action against the company in July 2016, as part of a broader effort to recoup more than US$1 billion allegedly embezzled from 1MDB.

 
 
 

The US Justice Department has accused financier Low Taek Jho of masterminding a scheme to steal US$4.5 billion from the fund.

Mr Riza is a close friend of Mr Low, also known as Jho Low.

US prosecutors alleged that Mr Riza used more than US$100 million taken from 1MDB to finance the movies The Wolf Of Wall Street, Dumb And Dumber To and Daddy's Home.

Mr Riza has claimed that he never "knowingly" used stolen funds for his film projects.

He was also accused of using stolen funds to buy luxury real estate, including a US$35 million condominium in New York, a US$41.8 million London townhouse, and a US$17.5 million mansion in Beverly Hills.

The US government is also seeking to seize those properties.