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Sunday, January 31, 2021

Najib to ex-AG: Did Dr M act against his enemies?

 

Former prime minister Najib Razak poses questions to former attorney-general Tommy Thomas about high-profile criminal cases involving politicians.

PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak has questioned if Dr Mahathir Mohamad had intervened in the decision to prosecute his political enemies on criminal charges, and whether he had also had cases against Lim Guan Eng and others to be dropped.

The questions were raised by Najib and directed at former attorney-general Tommy Thomas after the revelation by Thomas that Mahathir, then prime minister, had told him to avoid proceedings in open court over an extradition request against controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

Thomas had written about Mahathir’s intervention in his memoirs, “My Story: Justice in the Wilderness”, which was extensively quoted in news reports today.

Thomas had also written that cases against DAP personalities over allegations of links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam had been dropped after Mahathir was satisfied with his explanation about the decision to do so.

Najib responded to Thomas’ revelations by asking about the dropping of charges against DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who had been accused of corruption and abuse of power.

In a brief Facebook posting, Najib asked whether Mahathir truly did not intervene in the affairs of the attorney-general and the legislative branch of government.

He said Thomas had stated that he didn’t charge Naik because he was complying with Mahathir’s instructions.

“He dropped the LTTE cases after he got Mahathir and the Cabinet’s permission. What about the decision to retract charges against Lim and Pakatan Harapan leaders allied to Mahathir?

“What about the decision to charge Mahathir’s political enemies? Why didn’t you write about that, Tommy?” said Najib, who has been on trial for alleged corruption and abuse of power relating to 1MDB. Other Umno personalities who have faced criminal charges included Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who was Najib’s deputy in government and in Umno, and former Federal Territories minister Tengku Adnan Mansor.

In his book, Thomas said he met Mahathir some time in 2018 to brief him on the Zakir Naik issue. Prior to his meeting with Mahathir, the Indian high commissioner had met him to discuss Naik. They (Indian authorities) wanted Malaysia to expel him from our shores, Thomas wrote.

He said the high commissioner, Shri Mridul Kumar, was frank. “India-Malaysia relations would not be on an even keel unless the Zakir Naik issue was resolved to India’s satisfaction,” Thomas said.

“He also agreed that instituting extradition proceedings against Naik in our courts would exacerbate tension. I then briefed Tun (Mahathir) on the matter and he agreed any form of court action must be avoided at all cost because that was what exactly Naik would prefer; a platform for him to spew his poison,” Thomas wrote.

On the LTTE case, he said he was “troubled” by the impending trial as the prosecution’s case against the accused was weak. “Dr Mahathir Mohamad was satisfied with my explanation since there was no realistic possibility of a conviction for any of the 12 accused,” Thomas wrote. - FMT

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