Ex-solicitor-general lodges report against Thomas over unflattering comments

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A police report has been lodged against former attorney general Tommy Thomas for alleged defamation over his recently released book “My Story: Justice in the Wilderness”.

Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, who was the former solicitor-general III, claimed that an excerpt from Thomas’s book had tarnished his image as a Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) who has served for 33 years.

“What he wrote was not true as he supposedly made it seem that I was lazy and was not able to handle the prosecution in the SRC International trial,” he said in his police report which was lodged on Tuesday (Feb 2).

Hanafiah said the excerpt referred to the preparation of the prosecution team in the case against Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2018, when he was the Trial and Appeals division head at the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC).

Hanafiah said in the report that Thomas never told him that he would lead the SRC case prosecution team, or that the A-G had thought him of being incapable of leading that team.

He went on to list a number of senior positions that he had held in the AGC during his 33 years of service, said he had handled various high-profile cases and was not told at any point of time that he was not capable of handling any cases.

He added that he had handled two appeals at the Federal Court while being the Solicitor General III.

Hanafiah said that Thomas’s claim of him being allegedly incapable of handling a high-profile matter like the SRC case was untrue, and that the content in the book amounted to defamation against him.

On July 28 last year, Najib was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined RM210 million after being found guilty of abuse of power in receiving RM42 million in funds from SRC International in 2014 and 2015.

Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali delivered the sentence after three hours of mitigation.

The judge also stayed the execution of the sentence and fine, pending an appeal filed by the defence.

“With this, I ask that an investigation be conducted on Tommy Thomas under Section 499 of the Penal Code (Act 574) for criminal defamation towards me and also officers in the Attorney General’s Chambers and for disparaging the reputation and good name of the Attorney General’s Chambers,” Hanafiah said in the police report.

Yesterday, Najib had also issued a letter of demand to Thomas for allegedly defaming him in his memoir in connection with the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006.

Najib’s lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, said his client was seeking an apology and RM10 million in compensation.

The notice also called for an immediate and unequivocal public retraction of the statement from the book and an undertaking not to repeat the allegations and comments.

Najib has given Thomas until Friday to reply, failing which he will institute legal proceedings early next week.

When contacted, Sepang district police chief ACP Wan Kamarul Azran Wan Yusoff confirmed to Malay Mail this morning that a police report was received from Hanafiah. The Cyberjaya police station falls under the Sepang police district.

Thomas was attorney general from June 2018 to February 2020. His book numbering more than 500 pages was released on January 30, 2021.

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