KUALA LUMPUR: Former Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas (pix) claimed that the suit filed by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak against him and the government for power abuse was politically motivated.
In a supporting affidavit to strike out the former premier’s suit, Thomas said he believed that Najib had filed the suit for use in the campaign leading up to the recent Melaka state election and also for the coming general election, which must be held by the middle of 2023.
Thomas, 69, said this was evidenced by the fact that the allegation was only raised by Najib for the first time, although he was charged in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) related cases in September 2018, as well as for the money laundering case in 2019.
He claimed that Najib had never raised any allegation of “malicious prosecution” as part of the defence in his SRC International Sdn Bhd case and the ongoing 1MDB cases.
Thomas, who was the AG from June 4, 2018 to Feb 28, 2020, said, four criminal cases against Najib were still pending in the High Court and therefore he remained as an accused person.
Thomas claimed that as the then Public Prosecutor, he did not owe a duty of care to persons charged like Najib, inter alia because of the adversarial system under the Malaysian laws.
He said if the suit was not struck out, but proceeded to trial on a civil balance of proof, it would result in Najib’s charges being re-tried again.
“This is not sustainable in law. It is also against the public interest,” he added.
To Najib’s claim that he (Thomas) had prejudged his (Najib) cases before making a decision to charge him, as well as interfered in the investigations, Thomas said:
“When each investigation paper (IP) in respect of Najib was submitted to me, I was satisfied that there was a strong case against him. I studied the IPs to the best of my ability, discussed them with the relevant officers in Public Prosecutor’s (PP) office and then honestly decided to charge Najib.
“Accordingly, the allegations in the statement of claim that I decided to prosecute him despite the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) having found no wrongdoings, are denied.
“Neither I, nor any staff from the PP’s office, interfered in the MACC’s investigations against Najib which resulted in the prosecutions. The investigations were carried out independently by MACC,” said Thomas.
He said the plaintiff’s claim was meant to harass and intimidate him for upholding his duty as Attorney-General and Public Prosecutor and having exercised his discretion under Article 145 (3) of Federal Constitution to charge him (Najib).
On Oct 22, Najib filed the suit claiming that he had been wrongly prosecuted in the case of 1MDB, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), abuse of power and money laundering and seeking RM1.9mil in damages as well as a declaration that Thomas had committed misfeasance in public office.
The Pekan MP claimed that the charges against him were part of a move that had been planned in advance by Thomas and it was also in line with the Pakatan Harapan government’s plan at the time.
Najib claimed that in 2015, Thomas had met Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to discuss wrongdoings and mismanagement allegedly over the 1MDB funds and also advised Dr Mahathir to take civil and criminal action against Najib over his involvement in 1MDB.
The High Court set Jan 19, 2022 for case management. — Bernama