PETALING JAYA, Aug 2 — Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas has recused himself from being involved in Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s corruption cases.
In a media statement signed by Solicitor-General Datuk Engku Nor Faizah and the Solicitor-General II Datin Paduka Zauyah Be Loth Kham, the Attorney General Chambers (AGC) clarified that due to Lim’s trial as a matter of public interest, Thomas had fully removed himself from the case.
“Regarding Lim Guan Eng’s prosecution, because the case has received so much publicity, we wish to report that the Attorney General recused himself in all deliberations, and will not be involved in any decision that the AGC will take in that pending case,” said the statement.
The AGC further clarified that Thomas is well aware of the fact that the rules of conflict of interest apply to him as well.
Therefore, the AGC has taken the necessary steps to ensure the role of the AG remains impartial.
“First, in the cases where his involvement was of a personal nature, such as counsel and friend, the Attorney General will recuse himself altogether.
“The decisions would then be taken by us jointly, and we may consult other senior officers in Chambers before taking any decision.
“Secondly, in many cases where the Attorney General determines that recusal is not required, he declares his interest to the other members in the decision making team, which interest is recorded by them, he then participates as a member for the team in such manners,” it said.
In the first amended charge, Lim, was accused of abusing his post as chief minister of Penang to obtain gratification for himself and wife Betty Chew Gek Cheng, by approving a request from Magnificient Emblem Sdn Bhd for the conversion of agricultural land, to build public houses.
Lim, 58, was charged under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, which carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount or value of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
Lim was also under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which carries a jail sentence of up to two years, or a fine, or both, upon conviction.