Src International First Case Against Najib As It Was Easiest To Prove Says Ex Ag Thomas
Former attorney-general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, who initiated prosecution against Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, has finally explained why the former prime minister was first charged with the embezzlement of SRC International Sdn Bhd instead of the bigger 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) financial scandal that involved billions of dollars.
(MMO) – In an interview with news portal Malaysiakini published today, Thomas said that investigations into the SRC International case were in advanced stages when he was first appointed attorney-general in June 2018, and he chose to proceed with it as the theft of RM42 million were the “easiest to prove”.
He explained that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) have to rely on investigation papers by the relevant authority to decide on prosecution.
He added that the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) had been working on the SRC International case when the AGC was helmed by Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.
“So imagine the deputy public prosecutors and myself as lawyers looking at documents given by somebody else. In this case, it was the MACC investigations, as opposed to other agencies. MACC said that the file they were working on in the past was SRC International.
“They confirmed the rumours circulating in KL, which was around the time one of my predecessors, Abdul Gani Patail, who was sacked in July 2016 that MACC were quite advanced in investigating SRC, so it was just carrying on that work.
“That was the principal factor – the file came to me. As it turned out, fortuitously, SRC was the easiest to prove, because if you stripped it of everything, it was just a theft of RM42 million. So, it was easy to prove,” Thomas was quoted saying.
He also explained why he decided to enlist the aid of private lawyers instead of using AGC personnel to handle the cases against Najib.
Thomas told the news portal that he had formed two 1MDB teams – one to deal with the criminal cases and the other civil cases – in the first two days as AG.
But as they pored over the documents, he realised that the workload was very heavy and complex, and so he decided it might be better to involve the best specialists in corporate, commercial and financial fraud.
“That was the reason I decided to secure external counsel,” Thomas was quoted saying.
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