Dr Mahathir Mohamad has launched an attack against former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali following revelations that the latter had represented Low Taek Jho in the fugitive businessman's latest attempt to reach a settlement with the Malaysian government.
The former prime minister, who terminated Apandi's services as the government's top lawyer shortly after the 2018 general election, also called for him to be investigated for any links with Low, better known as Jho Low.
"The current government is duty-bound to investigate because there is an element of collusion and complicity in the 1MDB crimes, to ensure that the bandits who robbed the nation in this organised crime are tried and punished," he said.
Mahathir also said Apandi's involvement in the talks was "suspicious", adding that he believed the former attorney-general was paid to become a "middleman" for Jho Low.
"It raises the suspicion that Apandi’s collaboration with Jho Low began while he was the attorney-general," Mahathir added.
When contacted, Apandi refused to comment, giving only a terse reply.
"I know who owns MalaysiaNow. Please convey my regards to him," he said, adding: "So please, stop your fishing expedition. Thank you."
Apandi later clarified to MalaysiaNow that his role in the talks was as a facilitator, where he arranged meetings involving Kobre & Kim, the law firm representing Low, with the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC).
"The purpose of the meetings was to discuss the repatriation of monies allegedly siphoned by Jho Low from 1MDB.
“After the said meetings, which at that material time, looked positive, it was aborted and called off by the AGC suddenly, for reasons best known to them,” Apandi had said.
Apandi, who served as attorney-general from 2015 to 2018, controversially cleared Najib of wrongdoing in the 1MDB scandal in 2016, declaring that no charges would be pressed against the then prime minister.
The 1MDB investigation resumed following Najib's fall from power. He was later convicted and sentenced to 12 years in jail and a RM210 million fine, with one of the charges linked to the scandal that had triggered investigations in several countries.
Mahathir today said Apandi should regret his decision to clear Najib.
"Apandi should feel guilty and remorseful for his stance in blocking 1MDB crimes from being brought to court.
"Now, he is willing to be a mediator for Jho Low to get a settlement, and reportedly by paying the Malaysian government RM1.5 billion. This means Jho Low is guilty. If not guilty, why offer money to settle the action against him?" he said.