Lim Kit Siang has accused former premier Najib Abdul Razak, his ex-deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his lawyer Mohd Shafee Abdullah of attempting to use psychological tactics.
However, the DAP veteran said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had outplayed them when he said more BN leaders would be hauled to court.
“There were three mind games, which had been defined as psychological tactics used to manipulate or intimidate, which went horribly wrong yesterday,” he added in a statement this afternoon.
The first, he said, was when Zahid, who is also Umno president, turned up at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to provide moral support to Najib, who was slapped with an additional six charges, bringing the total charges against him to 38.
Zahid later tweeted a photograph of the two of them seated together and stated that the “relentless attack” against the pair would not break their spirit.
Lim noted how Zahid also described the litany of charges against Najib and him as an “overkill” which would erode trust in the government and benefit the accused.
Last week, Zahid was slapped with 45 charges of money laundering, criminal breach of trust and for receiving gratification when he was home minister.
The second mind game attempt, according to Lim, came from Shafee when he mocked the fresh charges against Najib as “foolish” and claimed that while the defence “would have fun, the prosecution would have a nightmare”.
“The third was Najib's claim that he was unfairly prosecuted in the six new charges as his decisions staved off Malaysia from default on a national debt and that his conscience was clear.
“Maybe Najib expected the nation to be eternally grateful to him for securing recognition from no less a figure than the US attorney-general Jeff Sessions for 'kleptocracy at its worst' for the international 1MDB corruption and money-laundering scandal and causing Malaysia to be regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.
“The mind games by Zahid, Shafee and Najib went horribly wrong when later on the same day, the prime minister said in Bangkok that 'one by one, more BN leaders will be hauled to court',” he added.
Lim also questioned the public donations Najib had sought to assist him and other “anti-government activists” in their legal cases.
“Why is there no public accountability as to how much funds had been raised so far?” he asked.