Najib could be released as early as next January

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Datuk Seri Najib Razak could be released from prison as early as January next year or apply for parole to serve the remainder of his sentence outside prison in the last quarter of the same year.

Bernama

Lawyer Kitson Foong said Najib’s six-year term could be reduced by a third, or two years, for good behaviour.

Today, the Pardons Board granted the former prime minister a 50 percent reduction on his jail sentence, from 12 years to six, which will see him being released on Aug 23, 2028.

He also received a reduction in his fine, from RM210 million to RM 50 million.

“Because he has already served his prison sentence starting Aug 23, 2022, which is about one year and five months, then that period will also be taken into account.

“From that amount, a reduction will be made again by taking into account the public holidays, about 15 days a year. Therefore, Najib can be released as early as 2025 or the end of 2024,” Foong told Berita Harian.

He said Najib can also still use the parole process under Section 46E of the Prisons Act to apply for the excess sentence to be served outside prison, at home.

He said the former Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman and former Umno president can apply for parole after serving half of the sentence.

“In that situation, he is eligible to apply for parole around the last quarter of next year,” he said.

Lawyer, Datuk M Reza, said Najib can still get a full pardon from the 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim.

FMT

“In fact, if he is convicted again on other charges, he can still apply for a pardon against his conviction,” he said.

Prominent lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla also said Najib could seek early release by applying for parole after serving half of his prison term.

“Upon completing 50 per cent of his imprisonment by Aug 23, 2025, Najib can apply for the remainder of his jail sentence to be served at his residence.

“The Parole Board will convene after or before Aug 23, 2025, to determine if Najib is allowed to serve the remaining three years of imprisonment at home.

“This is no connection with the power of Pardons Board,” he said in a video posted on his Facebook account today.

He said the Parole Board comprises seven members and its composition details can be found under Section 46B of the Prison Act.

He said there was a precedent case involving the parole board in 2016, involving former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo who was convicted and sentenced to jail for corruption.

On Dec 23, 2011, the Shah Alam High Court convicted Khir of corruptly using his position as then Selangor MB and Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) chairman to obtain land and property below the market price in 2007.

He was given a 12-month jail sentence after being found guilty of obtaining two plots of land and a bungalow in Section 7, Shah Alam for himself and his wife Zahrah Kechik, from Ditamas Sdn Bhd through its director Datuk Shamsuddin Hayroni with the inadequate payment of RM3.5 million in 2007.

However, on March 26, 2016, Khir was granted parole after the parole board members gave the green light to the application by Khir’s counsel.

Meanwhile, human rights lawyer Andrew Khoo said that he, too, agrees that Najib might be walking out of prison earlier than 2028.

“Like all convicted persons sentenced to a term of imprisonment, Najib would enjoy a one-third remission of his jail sentence for good behaviour.

“As his jail term has been reduced, the one-third remission would be based on his revised jail term.

“However, before he can be released, he would have had to also satisfy the other elements of his sentence, namely the fine. He must have settled the fine before he can enjoy early release,” said Khoo.

He, however, pointed out that the additional one-year jail term for failing to pay the RM50mil fine is wholly disproportionate.

“This is taking into account what the courts have handed down as jail sentences for failure to pay fines.

“One only has to look at cases reported in the press to see that the failure to pay fines of much lower amounts than RM50mil have resulted in proportionately much longer jail sentences,” said Khoo.


Earlier report:

Feb 2, Najib’s jail term cut by half, out by August 23, 2028 if RM50m fine paid