Expert: Najib’s jail term reduction disallows him from applying for parole

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Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s reduction of prison sentence will disallow him from applying for parole, said a constitutional expert.

Low Boon Tat/The Star

Associate Professor Datuk Dr Wan Ahmad Fauzi Wan Hussain said Section 46E(6)(a) of the Prisons Act 1995 (Act 537) limited the right to parole for prisoners if they were relieved from their sentence under Article 42 of the constitution.

Article 42 states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the power to grant pardons, reprieves and respites in respect of offences tried by court martial and offences committed in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.

“Najib is not eligible to apply for parole because the remission (reduction) of the sentence has been granted by the Pardons Board.

“This is because the parole order itself aims to encourage good behaviour and facilitate a prisoner’s rehabilitation. The same basis is also considered by the pardon,” he told to the New Straits Times.

Commenting on the possibility of an appeal against the sentence reduction, Wan Ahmad Fauzi said the matter could not be made through the judicial process because the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decision was a mercy process, not a court proceeding.

“So, it is up to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong whether he wants to exercise his prerogative because there is no provision that limits his authority and court’s interpretation if the issue arises later.

“Article 42 also does not distinguish between the decisions of the board chaired by any Yang di-Pertuan Agong. So, there is no issue of which monarch holds the position of Yang di-Pertuan Agong.”

He added that the board also had no legal obligation to explain the basis of its decision to the public.

Yesterday, the board announced the reduction Najib’s 12-year jail term to six as well as reducing his fine to RM50 million. – NST