Tommy Thomas to appoint new lead counsel for suit against gov’t, special task force

Following the death of Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram yesterday, former Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas (picture) will appoint a new lead counsel for his ongoing suit against a special task force and the government over the investigation on the contents of his memoir, ‘My Story: Justice In the Wilderness’.

Thomas filed the originating summons on Oct 27 last year, seeking a declaration that the purported report on the investigation is an illegal document and a violation of the law.

Senior Federal Counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, when contacted, said lawyers representing Thomas had applied for a month to appoint a new lead counsel. 

The court fixed Feb 27 for case management pending the appointment, he said after online proceedings before Judge Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh today. 

In his suit, Thomas named Datuk Seri Fong Joo Chung, the chairman of the task force that investigated the contents of the book, seven other task force members and the government as defendants.

Besides Fong, the members of the task force were Datuk Seri Panglima Hashim Paijan, Datuk Dr Junaidah Kamaruddin, Datuk Jagjit Singh Bant Singh, Datuk Shaharudin Ali, K. Balaguru, Farah Adura Hamidi and Mohd Najib Surip.

In the originating summons, Thomas claimed that the publication of the report violates Sections 499 and 500 of the Penal Code and/or Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

He is seeking a declaration that the publication of the said report violates his right to reputation, which he said is protected by Articles 5(1) and/or 13(1) of the Federal Constitution.

The memoir, published in January 2021, caused a public uproar resulting in the Cabinet setting up a special task force as a fact-finding body to undertake an in-depth review and analysis of the book.

On Oct 13, the government declassified the task force’s report, which among others, recommended that Thomas be investigated for various possible offences. — BERNAMA