PUTRAJAYA (Jan 10): The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) is currently being stretched to a level not seen before, as it had to deal with 27 high profile cases pending at the High Courts and Session Courts in Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam.
During his speech at the opening of the Legal Year 2020 here today, Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas said these cases are mostly related to the fallout from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.
He said the AGC has formed numerous teams of prosecution lawyers, led by senior and experienced deputy public prosecutors (DPPs), to handle these cases.
“The DPPs assigned to prosecute the 27 cases, not only handle these high profile cases but also continue to manage the other criminal cases in their respective units. Seldom in the nation’s history have our DPPs been stretched as they are now,” Thomas said.
As a result, Thomas appealed to the courts to understand the AGC’s predicament and to grant “some allowance and leeway in the conduct of these 27 trials”.
“The matter is compounded in cases involving the same accused or the same defence counsel, typically when trial dates overlap between one case and another.
Accommodation and a give and take approach must take place so that no party is prejudice and injustice occurs. The courts should be assured that the prosecution will not willy nilly seek adjournments,” Thomas concluded.
While the attorney general did not name the accused, he was referring to former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Najib is currently in the dock for several different legal cases relating to 1MDB: namely his involvement in 1MDB unit SRC International Sdn Bhd, as well as the misappropriation of funds from 1MDB itself.
In addition, he is also facing charges for his role in tampering the audit report over 1MDB, as well as for his role in the misappropriation of public funds to pay for debts owed by 1MDB to the International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC).
Meanwhile, Najib’s spouse Datuk Seri Rosmah Mansor is also facing criminal charges as well. Firstly, she is facing 17 counts of money laundering for a sum amounting to more than RM7 million, as well as facing graft charges involving RM187.5 million over a solar hybrid project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
Judiciary bids to reform people's access to justice — CJ
CJ wants Malaysian Bar and AGC to cooperate to strengthen judicial independence
Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat's full speech at opening of the legal year 2020
Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas’ full speech at the opening of the Legal Year 2020