Ex-AIAC director fails to get leave for contempt proceedings against Tommy Thomas

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court here has dismissed former Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) director Datuk N. Sundra Rajoo's application for leave to commence committal proceedings against former Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas over an allegedly contemptuous statement.

This is in relation to Thomas' alleged statement in an affidavit that he filed to strike out a civil suit brought by Sundra Rajoo against him and 12 others in the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

In the affidavit, Thomas, among others had allegedly said that giving immunity to Sundra Rajoo from criminal prosecution would put him on a level above 30 million Malaysians and would even be a class above nine Malay rulers of Malaysia.

In the decision on Thursday (Dec 1) a three-member panel led by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Amar Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim said Sundra Rajoo's ex-parte application did not fulfil the threshold for a prima facie case for leave to be granted.

He said Sundra Rajoo had not made out a case that the impugned statement posed a real risk of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice.

Presiding with Justice Abang Iskandar were Federal Court judges Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof and Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal.

Sundra Rajoo filed the ex-parte application on Sept 9, seeking leave to commence contempt proceedings against Thomas.

In July, High Court judge Datuk Ahmad Bache dismissed Thomas's application to strike out the suit filed by Sundra Rajoo against him, former Malaysian Anti Corruption (MACC) Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, several deputy public prosecutors and MACC officers, for alleged misfeasance in public office, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment.

Thomas's appeal is pending in the Court of Appeal.

Sundra Rajoo was charged on March 16, 2019, with three counts of criminal breach of trust amounting to RM1.1 million, allegedly committed at AIAC's premises in Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin in Kuala Lumpur between Aug 17 and Dec 8, 2018.

Thomas was the Attorney-General between June 2018 and February 2020.

Sundra Rajoo subsequently filed a judicial review in the High Court seeking a declaration that he was immune from prosecution for acts done within his official capacity.

He won his case in the High Court but the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court's decision. He then brought the matter to the Federal Court which ruled in favour of him.

The charges against Sundra Rajoo were subsequently dropped after the Federal Court held that Sundra Rajoo, as the AIAC director, was entitled to immunity from prosecution for acts committed while in office.

In the online proceedings on Thursday, lawyers Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and A.Surendra Ananth represented Sundra Rajoo. - Bernama

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