Tommy Thomas denies bribery involved in reduced drug charges against Vincent Tan’s son

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Lawyer Tommy Thomas today denied acting improperly while serving as Malaysia’s attorney general from 2018 to 2020.

The 70-year-old was responding to an allegation that he had dropped criminal charges against a tycoon’s son, and that corruption was involved.

“During my stint as a public officer, I never received a bribe. Integrity, honesty and truth are values instilled in me as a young child, and nurtured in school. They have served me well in adulthood. Ultimately, integrity, honesty and truth are precious values to me.

“Indeed, they are sacrosanct, and I have never compromised them. The allegation that I was bribed when I took this decision is therefore vigorously denied,” Thomas said in a statement that was published by news portal The Vibes.

Thomas did not name the source of the allegation, but a self-styled investigator with the Twitter account “Edisi Khas” claimed he chose not to press criminal charges against the offspring of a prominent businessman.

In his statement, Thomas said he remembered the case concerned a son of Tan Sri Vincent Tan who was arrested for drug offences.

“Having studied the representations and the investigation papers (IP), reviewing the relevant legal provisions and discussion with the case officers (all deputy public prosecutors), I recall reducing the charges,” the lawyer said.

“Receiving representations from lawyers and accused, and reducing or dropping charges thereafter are common occurrences in AGC,” he added.

Thomas said he has “no access to any documents, records or files maintained by those who prepared the IP” and as such, cannot provide further details of the case.

The lawyer also said he has never represented Tan or the tycoon’s companies throughout his professional career to date.

He also said he did not know Tan prior to being appointed the AG.

Thomas called the corruption allegation an attack on his integrity and believes it is linked to the ongoing prosecution of Malaysian Roger Ng, a former Goldman Sachs banker, in the US in connection with the 1MDB financial scandal.

“Our politicians and personalities will be featured when evidence unfolds during this trial, which has received worldwide media coverage. Against this background, I am an easy target and a convenient digression,” he ended.

Shortly after Thomas’ statement was reported by several news outlets, the Edisi Khas Twitter account holder issued a statement accusing the lawyer of being “a pathological liar”.

It is understood that Tan’s son was sentenced on Feb 10, 2020, by a Kuala Lumpur magistrate. At the time, Malaysiakini had attempted to secure the charge sheet from the deputy public prosecutor, who declined the request.