KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) – Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak will file fresh civil suits against three investigators of a multi-billion dollar scandal at troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), after he withdrew his earlier applications against them on Monday (July 16).
Najib and his family have faced intense scrutiny since a shock defeat in the May election by his former mentor-turned-foe, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who reopened an investigation into 1MDB after becoming prime minister.
Najib’s initial suits came days before he was arrested and charged over suspicious transactions at SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.
Najib, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing regarding 1MDB and SRC, pleaded not guilty.
Najib was charged on July 4 at the High Court with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power in relation to RM42 million (S$14 million) he had received from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.
The three suits, filed on June 30, were withdrawn after pre-trial hearings to allow Najib to file fresh suits, state news agency Bernama on Monday quoted lawyer Alice Loke Yee Ching, who was acting for the government, as saying.
A spokesman for the law firm Badrul Samad Faik and Co representing Najib said it needed to make changes reflecting recent developments regarding its client’s criminal charges before filing new applications.
In the three civil filings, Najib’s lawyers accused anti-graft chief Mohd Shukri Abdull, police commercial crimes head Amar Singh Ishar Singh and Attorney General Tommy Thomas of prejudice against Najib.
Najib’s law firm had earlier told Reuters it was seeking a court decision whether there was “an element of conflict of interest” among those handling the case.
Last week, media cited Mr Mohd Shukri, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief, as saying he would face any civil suit filed by Najib, while Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Amar Singh told reporters the police would “respond accordingly” if there was a need.