KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has set Dec 4 for former attorney-general (AG) Tommy Thomas to file his statement of claim in a suit against the government and members of a task force which reviewed the contents of his controversial memoir.
At a case management held today, a senior assistant registrar also directed the defendants to file their defence by Jan 4 next year, with Thomas given until Jan 18 to file his reply.
Haikaldin Mahyidin, who represented Thomas, said the court would conduct another case management on Jan 30.
Federal counsel Nurul Badariah Yusof represented the defendants.
The directions come after Justice Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh, on Oct 2, dismissed the government’s application to quash the suit, originally filed by way of an originating summons (OS) and supported by affidavits.
Wan Ahmad instead converted the OS into a writ action to enable parties to call witnesses to testify and be cross-examined at trial.
In his ruling, the judge said “a claim of such nature cannot be resolved through affidavit evidence” due to the presence of many disputed facts.
In his suit, Thomas claimed the task force set up by Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s administration had no power to probe him. He said the panel’s findings, published last year, breached his constitutional rights.
Thomas had published the memoir, My Story: Justice in the Wilderness, in 2021. It traced his early life, experiences as a legal practitioner and his stint as AG between June 2018 and February 2020.
The task force, consisting of eight members, was set up in October 2021 to investigate whether statements in the book were seditious, had exposed government secrets, revealed any abuse of power or given rise to professional negligence on Thomas’s part.
The task force concluded that Thomas allegedly had “powerful vested interests” in the appointment of judges, and had attempted to use “political or executive influence” to ensure that certain appointments were carried through.