Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Ex-AG Thomas, govt apply to strike out Najib’s suit

They say the former prime minister's act of suing them was a collateral attack to prevent criminal proceedings against him.

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Former attorney-general Tommy Thomas and the government have applied to quash a suit filed by former prime minister Najib Razak against them for abuse of power in prosecuting him in several cases, including the 1MDB case.

They claimed that Najib’s act of suing them was a collateral attack to prevent criminal proceedings against him.

Najib filed the suit on Oct 22 seeking more than RM1.9 million in damages.

Thomas and the government, through a notice of application to quash the suit filed Nov 18 said among others that if Najib’s suit was continued and tried, it would disrupt the trial in the High Court of the criminal case against him.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib, in a supporting affidavit filed with the notice of the application, stated that in any case, the prosecution could present evidence and proof for allegations of misconduct and malicious abuse of process by Najib in the criminal trial against him.

Citing Article 145 of the Federal Constitution and Subsection 376 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code, Akram said the attorney-general, as the public prosecutor, had the power to exercise at his discretion to initiate, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for a criminal offence.

He said Najib’s act of filing the suit was an attempt to prevent the public prosecutor from carrying out his duties under the Federal Constitution.

“All this clearly makes the plaintiff’s action an indefensible action in court and the plaintiff failed to submit sufficient facts and details on alleged misconduct in public office, abuse of process and negligence.

“The cause of action for abuse of process is not a cause of action recognised by law. Therefore, the plaintiff’s action is an embarrassment, frivolous, inconvenience and an abuse of the court process,” he said.

Lawyer Yudistra Darma Dorai, representing Najib, said during the online case management before High Court deputy registrar Nurliana Ismail today, that the court had set Jan 19 for further case management.

In his statement of claim, Najib said he had been wrongly accused in court in the case of 1MDB, International Petroleum Investment Company, abuse of power under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

The Pekan MP claimed that the charges against him were part of a move planned in advance by Thomas and in line with the Pakatan Harapan government’s plan at the time.

Najib claimed that in 2015, Thomas had met Dr Mahathir Mohamad to discuss wrongdoings and mismanagement allegedly over the 1MDB funds and advised Mahathir to take civil and criminal action against Najib over his involvement in 1MDB.

He is seeking RM1.9 million in damages and a declaration that Thomas had committed misfeasance in public office, including consultation fees for the audit team to review documentation for preparation of facts to address prosecution against him.

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