Datuk Seri Najib Razak has objected to the appointment of two lawyers from Messrs Tommy Thomas to represent the former attorney-general in a RM1.9 million suit filed by the former prime minister.
Lawyer Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, who was representing Najib, submitted that the appointment of Alan Adrian Gomez and Lai Wei Shiung to represent Thomas would make it difficult for them to maintain their professional independence and to act objectively in the suit, which was filed on Oct 22 last year.
He said Thomas, the first defendant in the suit, was a founder and consultant or partner of the legal firm while his partners also had financial interests in the firm.
“It is not appropriate for lawyers from the same firm to represent Thomas as this action will be viewed as unprofessional,” he said at the hearing of the objection before High Court judge Datuk Ahmad Bache on Friday (Aug 12).
Meanwhile, Alan told the court that the objection should be rejected because the plaintiff (Najib) needed to prove it through a supporting affidavit that lawyers representing Thomas had financial interests and also failed to maintain their professionalism in court.
“Thomas is not a partner of Messrs Tommy Thomas; he is only a consultant and does not have financial interests in the legal firm. Thomas left the legal firm after he was appointed as attorney general on June 4, 2018, and he then rejoined the firm as a consultant in September 2020,” he said.
Thomas resigned as attorney general on Feb 28, 2020.
After hearing arguments from both sides, Justice Ahmad fixed this Aug 19 to deliver his decision on the objection.
In the suit, Najib, 69, named Thomas and the government as the first and second defendants respectively.
In the statement of claim, Najib said he had been charged in court in the case of 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.
The Pekan MP 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.
Najib is asking for a declaration that Thomas had committed misfeasance in public office and is seeking RM1.9mil in damages, including to cover consultation fees for the audit team to review documentation for preparation of facts to address prosecution against him.