Sunday, January 23, 2022

Thomas says Najib’s suit against him, govt politically motivated

He says the former prime minister filed the suit for use in the campaign for the recent Melaka election as well as the general election to come.

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Former attorney-general Tommy Thomas claims that the suit filed by former prime minister Najib Razak against him and the government for power abuse was politically motivated.

In a supporting affidavit to strike out the former leader’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 being raised by Najib for the first time although he was charged in 1MDB-related cases in September 2018, as well as 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 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 he therefore remained an accused person.

Thomas also claimed that as public prosecutor at the time, he did not owe a duty of care to persons charged like Najib, inter alia because of the adversarial system under the Malaysian law.

He said if the suit was not struck out, but had proceeded to trial on a civil balance of proof, it would have resulted in Najib’s charges being re-tried.

“This is not sustainable in law. It is also against public interest,” he said.

To Najib’s claim that Thomas had prejudged his 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 the 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 for having exercised his discretion under Article 145 (3) of Federal Constitution to charge Najib.

On Oct 22, Najib filed the suit claiming that he had been wrongly prosecuted in the case of 1MDB, International Petroleum Investment Company, abuse of power and money laundering. He sought RM1.9 million 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 that it was 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.

The High Court has set Jan 19, 2022 for case management.

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