Ex-AG vs ex-AG: Apandi accuses successor Tommy Thomas of classified info breach in memoir

KUALA LUMPUR : Former attorney general Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali alleged that his successor Tan Sri Tommy Thomas violated the Official Secrets Act, among others, in the latter’s memoir.

Speaking to reporters after lodging a report against Thomas at the Sentul police district headquarters, Apandi said he did so to see justice done.

“This is not only for me but also for others who have been scandalised and humiliated by the book, especially the officers of the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC),” Apandi said.

Although he declined to reveal the specific nature of the allegations against him and other’s in Thomas’ book, Apandi said added that AGC officers are now caught in a predicament of having to defend themselves and at the same time go against their former head of department.

Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali and his lawyer Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu pose with a copy of the police report against Tan Sri Tommy Thomas in front of the Sentul police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur February 4, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali and his lawyer Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu pose with a copy of the police report against Tan Sri Tommy Thomas in front of the Sentul police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur February 4, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

“As a former attorney general, I sympathise with the officers who have been looked down upon in a condescending manner by Tommy Thomas.

“This is very unbecoming of him as he should realise that the officers are the backbone of the legal service,” Apandi said.

He further defended the AGC’s officers, saying they are dedicated and that he could not find fault with their service during his tenure, which ran from 2015 to 2018.

“As a former attorney general, despite being bashed throughout my tenure there will be many things that will never cross my lips only because they are secrets of the state and they will remain as such.

“Therefore none will ever grace pages of my memoirs,” Apandi said.

Apandi’s lawyer, Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu, said the police report highlighted three issues regarding Thomas’s book.

“These include the possibility of wrongdoing under Section 203A and Section 500 of the Penal Code, as well as the Official Secrets Act 1972,” he said.

Section 203A is the criminal disclosure of information obtained by civil servants in the course of their duties or exercising their functions, which is punishable by a fine of no more than RM1 million, a year’s imprisonment, or both.

Section 500 refers to the criminal defamation of another person, which is punishable with a fine, imprisonment of up to two years, or both.

Thomas’s 500-page book My Story: Justice in the Wilderness was published on January 30 and had generated intense interest and controversy of the issues and affairs that occurred during his tenure as the AG from 2018 to 2020.

Since then, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has issued a demand for an apology via his lawyers, as well as seeking RM10 million in damages, over allegations made against him in the book concerning the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006.

He was followed by former solicitor general III Datuk Mohamad Hanafiqh Zakaria, who filed a police report against Thomas for allegedly claiming in the book that he was incapable of prosecuting Najib for corruption in the SRC International case.

BY : JERRY CHOONG – MALAY MAIL

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