Report: Tommy Thomas on why some cases didn’t go ahead during his time as AG

Tan Sri Tommy Thomas said that he referred to Attorney General’s Chambers’ (AGC) case reviews and decisions made by his predecessors to determine his likely success in prosecuting any case. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Tan Sri Tommy Thomas said that he referred to Attorney General’s Chambers’ (AGC) case reviews and decisions made by his predecessors to determine his likely success in prosecuting any case. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — Tan Sri Tommy Thomas said that in his capacity as the attorney general (AG), he would only charge an individual in court if he thought that he could win the case.

In a Free Malaysia Today report, Thomas said he would decide whether to prosecute someone based on the evidence provided, the investigation papers and the law, when asked to explain why he dropped some charges during his tenure.

“And I always ask myself, can we win the case, because it’s not fair to put somebody in the dock when the prosecution cannot win the case,” he was quoted as saying.

He also said that he referred to Attorney General’s Chambers’ (AGC) case reviews and decisions made by his predecessors to determine his likely success in prosecuting any case.

“This is the same test we applied for Azmin, LTTE and all those cases,” he was quoted as saying in reference to the leaked sex videos implicating International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali as well as the case of the 12 individuals accused of having links to the now-defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

“If I charge, I thought we could win, and if I did not charge, I thought we would lose. Those were the factors, they were legal considerations,” he said.

Thomas also reportedly said that he recused himself from being involved in DAP’s Lim Guan Eng’s corruption cases in 2018 on the grounds that the then finance minister’s trial was a matter of public interest and that it was important that he, as the AG, be seen as impartial.

Thomas was Malaysia’s AG from June 2018 until his resignation on February 28, 2020 following a change in government from Pakatan Harapan to Perikatan Nasional.

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