Former attorney general (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas and the Bar Council declined to cooperate with the investigation on the former’s memoirs, My Story: Justice in The Wilderness, a recently declassified report revealed.
The report by a special task force (STF) investigating 19 allegations made in the memoirs disclosed that Thomas in a letter dated last January 5 to the STF chairman stated categorically that he would neither cooperate nor participate in the proceedings of the STF.
STF said Thomas had also questioned the establishment and legitimacy of the STF.
“His letter was premised on his own assumption that the STF was formed to investigate the exercise of his discretion as Public Prosecutor under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution to initiate, conduct or discontinue proceedings of criminal nature,” the task force said in the report.
The book, published on or about last January 30, caused a public uproar resulting in some 244 reports lodged by various individuals and groups against Thomas and the book.
The STF formed as a fact-finding body to undertake an in-depth review and analysis of the entire book held no less than 37 deliberation sessions, among others to examine whether the publication of the book had potentially violated or contravened any laws or regulations applicable to the office of the AG.
It was also to determine whether the book had disclosed potential abuse of power by the author, breach of professional ethics or conduct by him.
Explaining further, STF said Thomas’s views were unfounded and he appeared to have misunderstood the role and duty of the STF.
“Firstly, under no circumstances, the STF would act as a substitute for a proper criminal investigation by the police or Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. The investigative power is and always will be vested in the enforcement agencies under the relevant laws. The enforcement agencies may of course refer to our report as a basis to initiate a specific direction in their investigation but that is entirely at their discretion.
“Secondly, we are not investigating TSTT (Tan Sri Tommy Thomas). We are investigating the contents of the book as disclosed by him and whether such disclosures reveal, prima facie any breach of the law,” the report said.
On the Bar Council, the STF noted that the council was invited to give their perspective on some of the matters disclosed in the book, particularly in relation to the appointment of judges, alleged lack of competence in commercial law at the Court of Appeal, and professional ethics.
“However, we regret that the Bar Council of Malaysia, through its secretary, stated that they were not keen to participate, in that they were not able to confirm or comment on the allegations made by TSTT in the book,” it said.
These were among the things stated in the over 200-page report.
Publication of the report, which is now available on the website of the legal affairs division of the Prime Minister’s Department, comes about a week after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob reportedly instructed it to be made public.
Prior to this, Ismail Sabri also reportedly had asked for the former AG to be investigated for sedition and various other offences as recommended in the report by the special task force.