AG ‘shocked’ over appeal in Rafizi’s NFC case, says decision was made without his knowledge

Attorney General Tommy Thomas arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court August 23, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Attorney General Tommy Thomas arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court August 23, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 ― The decision to appeal the acquittal of Rafizi Ramli for offences under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) was done without his direct knowledge, said Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas.

A report by financial daily The Edge quoted the government’s top lawyer as expressing shock after having learnt about the appeal, which he said was in contradiction with what he had previously discussed with the Election Commission Chairman Azhar Azizan Harun.

Thomas was then quoted saying the appeal would be rescinded on Monday, with disciplinary action set to be taken against officers who moved for the appeal.

“I am shocked as it was decided after a discussion I had with Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun that we will not be appealing. And the decision was conveyed to the relevant officers

“We will also find out why the appeal was filed when clear instructions were given not to file. Disciplinary action will be taken against those responsible,” Thomas was quoted saying by daily.

Separately, PKR vice-president Rafizi himself was quoted by online portal Malaysiakini saying he found it odd that as a figure appointed to champion reforms, Thomas had used his prerogative to pursue what he labelled as ‘politically motivated’ charges that were brought against him.

“At a personal level, of course it is of the greatest irony that Thomas became AG out of the hard work of people like me who put our necks (on the line) to change the government, only for him to show overzealousness in maintaining a jail sentence against me.

“The contrast is too obvious. He used his prerogative to withdraw cases against other Pakatan Harapan leaders, including (DAP secretary-general) Lim Guan Eng and (Amanah information chief) Khalid Samad, yet he pursues the jail sentence against me till the last court,” Rafizi was quoted in the report.

Rafizi reportedly said his acquittal was a clear-cut issue which was based on the lack of evidence submitted by the prosecution needed to meet requirements of the Evidence Act, adding how his legal team was ready and would go through the proper legal steps.  

This was after Rafizi earlier had tweeted his hopes for Thomas to also take action against those behind the National Feedlot Corporation scandal, namely against the family members of former minister Tan Sri Sharizat Abdul Jalil who were implicated in the case.

“I hope he (Thomas) is as diligent to bring to justice the ex-minister’s family members who benefited from the RM250 million. None of them have been charged in court so far,” read Rafizi’s tweet this evening.

Last month, the Shah Alam High Court acquitted and discharged Rafizi after overturning his conviction last year of revealing bank accounts related to NFC, its subsidiary companies and chairman Salleh Ismail.

Before the 14th General Elections last year, Rafizi and former bank clerk Johari Mohamad were sentenced to 30-months imprisonment by the Shah Alam Sessions Court for offences under the Bafia, an act that was repealed after his initial charging in 2012.