Najib’s lawyer denies RM1.9m lawsuit against ex-AG Tommy Thomas a ‘rehash’ of SRC, 1MDB-linked criminal trials

Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court January 5, 2022. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court January 5, 2022. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s civil lawsuit seeking RM1.9 million in compensation from the Malaysian government and former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas for alleged abuse was not meant to be a “rehash” of his criminal trials, his lawyer said today.

Yudistra Darma Dorai confirmed that his client filed an affidavit or sworn court document today, to respond to an application by Thomas and the Malaysian government to strike out the lawsuit.

“This suit isn’t a rehash of the criminal proceedings. Not one bit. It’s not an attempt to acquit Datuk Seri Najib in the civil courts. 

“It’s simply based on alleged wrongdoings of Tan Sri Tommy Thomas. That’s all. The facts opposing the application to strike out, are in my client’s affidavit,” Yudistra told Malay Mail this evening.

Yudistra confirmed that he was referring to all four criminal cases Najib is facing, over which the latter had sued Thomas and the Malaysian government. 

The four cases include an ongoing trial where Najib is facing 21 money-laundering charges and four power abuse charges involving more than RM2 billion of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds, and an ongoing power abuse trial over alleged instructions given to amend the Auditor-General’s 1MDB audit report before it was presented to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.

The two other trials which Najib is suing over have yet to start, namely his joint trial with former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah involving six criminal breach of trust charges over RM6.6 billion of government funds, and three money-laundering charges involving RM27 million of former 1MDB unit SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds.

The four trials do not include the trial where Najib was convicted in the High Court and where his conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal over the misappropriation of SRC’s RM42 million.

Among other things, Najib claimed in his lawsuit that the 35 criminal charges against him in the four trials were an abuse of prosecutorial powers by Thomas when he was the AG.

Yudistra said Najib’s lawsuit against Thomas and the Malaysian government is scheduled for case management on March 1.

Najib had filed the lawsuit on October 22, 2021, while Thomas and the Malaysian government had reportedly on November 18, 2021 filed an application to strike out the lawsuit.

Today, Najib in a press statement confirmed he had filed the affidavit in response to the affidavits filed by Thomas and the Malaysian government.

According to Najib, he had in his affidavit claimed that the move to strike out his lawsuit was allegedly “an attempt to prevent the wrongdoings against me from being aired out in open court”, while also asserting that he should be granted equal protection of the law as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.

Previously, the Malaysian government had as part of its striking out application reportedly said in court documents that allowing Najib’s civil lawsuit to go on would disrupt his criminal trials, and argued that Najib’s lawsuit is allegedly an abuse of court process and an attempt to prevent the public prosecutor from carrying out his constitutional duties.

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