KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's former premier Najib Razak will file fresh civil suits against three investigators of a multibillion-dollar scandal at the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund, after withdrawing his earlier applications against them yesterday.
Najib and his family have faced intense scrutiny since a shock defeat in a May election by his former mentor-turned-foe, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who reopened an investigation into 1MDB after becoming Prime Minister.
The initial suits filed by Najib 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. The three suits were withdrawn after pre-trial hearings to allow Najib to file fresh suits, state news agency Bernama yesterday quoted lawyer Alice Loke Yee Ching, who was acting for the government, as saying.
A spokesman for the law firm representing Najib, Badrul Samad Faik and Co, told Reuters it needed to make changes reflecting recent developments regarding its client's criminal charges before filing new applications.
Mr Badrul Hisham Abdullah, Najib's attorney, confirmed the withdrawal to The Star newspaper, saying: "We need to realign the case as the scenario has changed."
He said he would make adjustments to the suits before submitting a fresh one.
In the three civil filings, Najib's lawyers accused anti-graft chief Mohd Shukri Abdull, police commercial crimes head Amar Singh and Attorney-General Tommy Thomas of prejudice against the former prime minister.
Najib's law firm had earlier said it was seeking a court decision on whether there was "an element of conflict of interest" among those handling the case.
Mr Shukri declined to comment when contacted by Reuters, while Datuk Seri Amar did not respond when contacted.
The Attorney-General's Office did not respond to an e-mailed request for comment from Mr Thomas.
Last week, media reported Mr Shukri as saying he would face any civil suit filed by Najib, while Mr Amar said the police would "respond accordingly" if there was a need.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, REUTERS