Bar files to nullify Pardons Board reduction of Najib’s sentence

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Pardons Board did not provide a reason for the controversial outcome.


The Malaysian Bar has filed a legal challenge to nullify the Pardons Board’s decision to reduce former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s 12-year jail sentence to six years and RM210 million fine to RM50 million.

The Bar’s legal representatives from the law firm Amir & Rajpal Ghai filed the judicial review leave application at the Kuala Lumpur High Court last Friday.

The legal profession body previously announced its intent to file a court challenge against the controversial Pardons Board decision.

According to a copy of the cause papers, the Bar named the Pardons Board for the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya; as well as the former premier, as the first and second respondents.

The applicant seeks a declaration that the board’s decision on Jan 29 was unlawful, unconstitutional and void, and wants a related court order to quash it.

The Bar seeks a permanent injunction to restrain Najib from further submitting any application for a royal pardon, reprieve or respite unless the former finance minister fulfils three conditions.

They include “all criminal prosecutions or charges against him have been exhausted, that he has publicly accepted responsibility for his actions for which he is convicted, and he has expressed repentance and remorse for his actions”.

No reason given

According to a copy of an affidavit in support of the judicial review affirmed by Bar secretary Murshidah Mustafa, the Bar contended that the Pardons Board via a press release notification about the decision on Feb 2, did not provide a reason for the controversial outcome.

The Bar pointed out that the Pardons Board left the public in the dark on why a former prime minister involved in “grand larceny of significant public funds” obtained the halving of his prison sentence and more than three-quarters reduction of the fine.

“The Pardons Board’s unreasoned decisions constitute a betrayal of the nation’s faith and trust in its investigating, prosecuting and judicial authorities with regard to their efforts to bring to justice a figure who corruptly abused his position of high office.

“The Pardons Board’s decisions have also brought massive disrepute to Malaysia, and damaged investors’ confidence,” Murshidah said.

The judicial review leave application is set for hearing before the Kuala Lumpur High Court on July 2.

If the civil court grants leave, it would later set a separate date to hear oral submissions from all parties involved over the merits of the judicial review. – Malaysiakini