MTN – Former attorney-general Tommy Thomas said he was not happy that Najib Razak was allowed to travel abroad despite being convicted of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust (CBT).
He said everyone must be treated equally under the law, including liberties accorded to an average convict.
“I am not happy with these things happening,” he told former diplomat Dennis Ignatius in an interview today.
“I cannot remember other accused, other convicts being treated this way, I just cannot remember,” he said when asked if those who were charged for an offence should be allowed to travel.
Najib was recently allowed to travel to Singapore to visit his daughter but delayed his trip to oversee the Melaka state elections.
In July last year, the High Court sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and fined him RM210 million after finding him guilty on the corruption charges involving SRC International funds. The former prime minister is appealing against the conviction.
The decision on the appeal is due to be delivered on Dec 8.
Thomas also dismissed the notion that the charges brought against Najib were politically motivated, saying the cases he took were legal decisions but admitted he could not help it if some perceived it another way.
Asked why certain Umno leaders were hauled to court for graft, while nothing was done in other cases, he said that although he had been given a free hand, he only prosecuted individuals when he was satisfied it was a “good case” based on the investigation papers (IPs).
Thomas said in some of the cases, including alleged corruption in the defence ministry, the “IPs never came to me during my time”.
In Ignatius’ memoir released in September, he said that former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s war against corruption was more of a campaign against certain Umno leaders.
The former diplomat alleged that certain Sarawak leaders “were given a free pass”, while there were also plenty of scandals at the defence ministry, including the payment for six undelivered littoral combat ships “that were all but ignored”.
Thomas also said that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was stretched because it was investigating many cases, including those linked to state investment fund 1MDB that had been tied to Najib, investment bank Goldman Sachs and fugitive financier Low Taek Jho.
He said these were “tough white-collar crimes”.
“I could understand MACC asking for more time to prepare.” [FMT]
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