The government has reiterated that the RM1.9 million civil suit filed by Datuk Seri Najib Razak against former Attorney-General (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas was tantamount to an abuse of the court process.
The government in its affidavit which was affirmed by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said the suit by the former Prime Minister was a collateral attack against his criminal trial.
The Pekan Member of Parliament filed the suit against Thomas and the government alleging he had been wrongly prosecuted over several corruption charges against him, including criminal charges involving the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.
The Barisan Nasional advisor is now facing trial for multiple corruption charges involving the 1MDB financial scandal, audit tempering, and money laundering.
Akram said that there was a new development in 1MDB’s financial scandal trial and it must be heard in the criminal court.
Meanwhile, Thomas in his affidavit in reply also affirmed that he initiated the criminal charges against Najib after he found solid evidence against the latter.
“I decided to prosecute all charges against Najib after studying the investigation papers (IP) for each action submitted to me and satisfying myself that there was a strong case against him.
“The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had investigated and prepared the IPs in accordance with settled law and practice,” he said.
Thomas said that the averments that he had formed an opinion about Najib’s guilt before him assuming office as the AG was untrue.
“By Najib’s logic, only those who knew nothing about such an important national corruption scandal of global stand-in with massive media publicity and held no personal opinions were fit to charge him.
“Such assertions have no legal basis,” he said, adding that he was also aware of the ongoing investigations on former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz and her husband Datuk Dr Tawfiq Ayman.
He said such investigations had not been concluded at the time of his resignation from the Attorney-General’s Chambers on Feb 28, 2020.
“Accordingly, during my tenure as AG, there had been no recommendations by the investigating authorities or IPs submitted to the AGC recommending charges against either of the two.
“In any event, whether Zeti or Tawfiq were being investigated, or could have been charged during my tenure as AG, are irrelevant to my preferring charges against Najib.
“Another party’s purported guilty conduct does not absolve Najib’s own guilt,” he added.
Najib in his statement of claim alleged that Thomas had committed misfeasance in public office, malicious abuse of process, and negligence.
He claimed the wrong charges involved several criminal cases namely:
- 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) case.
- The International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) case.
- The alleged abuse of power under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act case.
- The alleged money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 case.
However, Najib claimed the suit did not involve the SRC International Sdn Bhd case, which had seen him convicted and sentenced to a 12-year jail term, and RM210 million fine.
He was sentenced after being found guilty of misappropriating RM42 million of SRC International Funds.
Najib said that Thomas had decided to prosecute him for multiple graft charges even though MACC in its investigation papers found no wrongdoings.
He said that Thomas, who was AG until Feb 28, 2020, had also made many disparaging comments against him before he was appointed as the AG.
Najib said he had lost his reputation and brought injury to his political career.
He is seeking RM1,941,988 in damages and a declaration that Thomas had committed misfeasance in public office. – NST