PUTRAJAYA — April 4, 2019: Attorney-General Tommy Thomas today maintained that he has the power in law to produce a certificate to transfer a case to the High Court or to withdraw it.
It is Thomas’s view that if he could institute, conduct and discontinue a criminal case, this implied that he could withdraw the transfer certificate.
He thus described the appeal by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak against his decision to withdraw the certificate to transfer Najib’s seven charges over SRC International funds from the Sessions Court to the High Court as much ado about nothing.
“The defence is complaining on the route taken by the prosecution to reach the destination. The complaint appears to be much ado about nothing or a storm in a tea cup,” remarked Thomas when submitting before a seven-man bench of the Federal Court chaired by Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum in Najib’s three appeals and one prosecution appeal.
Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah on the other hand argued that the prosecution’s conduct to withdraw the certificate was unprecedented as the case still remained at the High Court and that after the certificate had been withdrawn, his client should have been given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal and the case should have to start in the Sessions Court.
“Perhaps, because of pride and ego, the prosecution did not ask the High Court judge to start the case all over again in the Sessions Court,” he said.
The panel earlier heard the prosecution’s appeal against the Court of Appeal decision allowing Najib’s appeal to have the prosecution produce the appointment letter of ad hoc prosecutor Sulaiman Abdullah. The bench also heard Najib’s appeal on the High Court’s refusal of a gag order to prevent the media and public from discussing the merits of his case.
The hearing continues tomorrow.
The Court of Appeal on March 21 allowed Najib’s appeal to have the prosecution produce the appointment letter for Sulaiman while on March 27, the Federal Court lifted the stay of the trial granted by the Court of Appeal to Najib, pending disposal of his appeals over interlocutory and ordered the Kuala Lumpur High Court to fix a trial date.