High Court rules no misconduct in Tommy Thomas’ decision to charge Najib

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The Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that former Attorney-General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas did not arbitrarily charge Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in bad faith but only upon receiving completed investigation papers from the Investigating Agencies.

Yusof Mat Isa

Judge Datuk Ahmad Bache said only upon studying and satisfying himself of the evidence gathered, Thomas issued the consent to charge the former prime minister on all 35 charges in four cases.

The cases involved 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), abuse of power under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 and money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFPUAA 2001).

He also said the issue of “targeting the former premier or targeted malice” did not arise as it was Thomas’ duty as the Public Prosecutor to charge Najib.

The judge said in the present case, at the time when the suit was filed in 2021, the prosecution of the 35 charges in the four cases are still ongoing or pending and Thomas has already resigned on Feb 28, 2020.

“Hence, he (Thomas) was not and will not be involved in the conduct of the proceedings of the 35 charges in the four cases in the first place, and that there was no final determination on the four cases as yet,” he said in his 37-page judgment dated Feb 28 in a suit filed by Najib against Thomas.

On Nov 25, last year, Judge Ahmad allowed Thomas’ application to strike out Najib’s suit over alleged misfeasance in public office for prosecuting him on charges involving the 1MDB case.

Furthermore, the court is of the considered opinion that the causes of action of misfeasance in public office and the so-called malicious process are not sustainable and a non-starter because Thomas did not even conduct or take part in the prosecution of the four cases.

In the suit filed on Oct 22, 2021, Najib 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.

He was seeking a declaration that Thomas has committed misfeasance in public office as well as RM1.9 million in damages, including negotiation fees for the audit team to review documentation for the preparation of facts to deal with the prosecution against him.

The judge also said Thomas’s successor Tan Sri Idrus Harun did not withdraw the charges against Najib but instead pursued them.

This lent further credence to Thomas’s decision to charge Najib, he added.

It also dispelled the notion that Thomas had a political and personal agenda against Najib when he preferred the charges, as Idrus was not appointed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration during the time of the Pakatan Harapan government, the judge added.