Former Malaysian premier Najib Razak’s lawyer is trying to use all the means possible to free himself from his corruption case.
One of the ways he has adopted is to file civil lawsuits against three after he withdrew the suits against them on Monday.
Najib believes he is prejudiced in the 1MDB cases and filed three suits against the three 1MDB investigators, namely anti-graft chief Mohd Shukri Abdul, police commercial crimes head Amar Singh and Attorney General Tommy Thomas.
Najib’s lawyers said they were seeking a court decision on whether there was “an element of conflict of interest” among those handling the case.
Badrul Abdullah, who leads one of two Malaysian legal firms representing Najib, said the applications were based on past statements made by the three individuals.
In May, Shukri said a 2015 investigation into 1MDB was suppressed, while Amar has led police seizures of nearly US$275mil worth of luxury goods from premises linked to Najib’s family, said Reuters.
Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor is barred from leaving Malaysia. The ex-PM was arrested and charged for corruption and abuse of power in connection with suspicious transactions at SRC International, a former unit of the fund.
Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing regarding 1MDB and SRC, on Wednesday (July 4) and has pleaded not guilty.
It appears that Najib has benefited from leniency at the courts while he was PM.
Last year a High Court judge, Abu Bakar Jais, ruled that Najib is not a public official or public officer.
Justice Abu Bakar said Najib’s lawyers argued that in initiating the suit, former Umno leaders Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Anina Saadudin must first prove the offices that Najib occupies – as prime minister, the finance minister, BN chairperson and Umno president – are all public offices.
“The defendant maintained he is not a public officer and therefore cannot be liable for the tort of misfeasance in public office,” the judge said, throwing the case out.
That was one of the means that Najib used to get his name cleared from the 1MDB scandal.
During his tenure, several attempts by the opposition – including Dr Mahathir – to bring a case against Najib to court failed.
They were either dismissed, or the opposition members were arrested and jailed only to be released under condition.