KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today sued Datuk Seri Najib Razak for alleged interference in government investigations on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the RM2.6 billion political donation.
In the lawsuit filed against Najib for alleged misuse of power and breach of duty, Dr Mahathir claimed that the prime minister had taken steps to impede investigations on the two controversies.
“This suit is with regard to the tort of misfeasance in public office and tort of breach of fiduciaries in public office committed by Najib Razak in furtherance of his corrupt practise of carrying out various steps that were actively and deliberately taken in bad faith and with mala fide to obstruct, interfere, impede and derail the various investigations and inquiries which were being conducted by various legal enforcement agencies and statutory bodies pertaining to the allegation of the above,” his lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said in a statement today.
This is the first lawsuit against Najib by Dr Mahathir, Malaysia’s longest serving former prime minister who has been leading a campaign calling for the former’s removal over alleged financial irregularities.
Haniff, who filed the suit on behalf of Dr Mahathir and two other former Umno members, said his clients felt that they had to seek the court’s help to “reverse the destruction of the rule of law and the sanctity of the provision of our Federal Constitution”.
He said his clients are expected to give a press conference regarding the lawsuit soon.
The two others who filed the lawsuit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court are Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Anina Saadudin, two former Umno members who earlier this month signed the “Citizens’ Declaration” along with Dr Mahathir and 42 others to seek Najib’s resignation as the prime minister.
In the trio’s statement of claim sighted by Malay Mail Online, the three plaintiffs in the suit claimed that Najib had attempted to avoid negative repercussions from the investigations.
They also said that the prime minister has no constitutional and legal power to use his public office for personal gain.
They are seeking for the court to declare that Najib has committed the alleged tort by using his official positions as prime minister, Barisan Nasional chairman and Umno president to interfere with the investigations, as well as to “unjustly punish” them for exercising their rights and duties as citizens to question and demand answers on 1MDB, the RM2.6 billion donation and a RM42 million sum involving former 1MDB unit SRC International.
They also want the court to order Najib to pay exemplary damages of RM2.6 billion and aggravated damages of RM42 million to the government of Malaysia, although they said the exact sum will be left to the court to assess.
On January 26, Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali cleared Najib of criminal wrongdoing in the corruption probes on former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd, and the transfer of an alleged RM2.6 billion donation into the prime minister’s private accounts.
Among other things, Apandi said evidence showed that a US$681 million (RM2.08 billion) sum was a personal donation from the Saudi royal family to Najib without any consideration, with the unutilised portion of US$620 million (RM2.03 billion) later returned.
Apandi had also said there was no evidence to show that Najib had any knowledge of or had given any approval for the transfer of funds from SRC International’s accounts into his accounts.
He also said he will return the three investigation papers to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and instruct them to close the cases.