Malaysian Bar to challenge Najib’s pardon in court

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Najib’s pardon application should not have been processed as he had only served one-and-a-half years of his sentence.

The Malaysian Bar will seek a judicial review to challenge the Pardons Board’s decision to commute the sentence of former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak following overwhelming approval from the floor during its annual general meeting (AGM).Sources revealed that following a voting during the Malaysian Bar’s 78th AGM in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, 238 members were in support of the motion, one objected to it, while seven others abstained from voting.

“Although the decision of the Pardons Board to ‘generously’ reduce the jail time and fine imposed on Najib is final and cannot be challenged in any court, the Malaysian Bar intends to test the case with the judicial review,” said a source.

Criminal defence lawyer KA Ramu from the Selangor Bar said the move was a way of displaying the Bar’s objection to the Pardons Board’s decision.

“There were nine judges who found him guilty of the charges against him and he still has ongoing cases,” he told The Star.

Earlier, the Malaysian Bar said it will discuss and vote to decide if it will adopt resolutions to challenge Najib’s commuted sentence.

The motion was proposed and seconded by former Malaysian Bar presidents, Zainur Zakaria and Datuk Yeo Yang Poh, respectively.

Zainur was quoted as saying that the Federal Territories Pardons Board “acted ultra vires” under Article 42 of the Federal Constitution when it decided to halve the former prime minister’s 12-year jail sentence to six years and reduce the RM210mil fine to RM50mil over the SRC International corruption case.

He had said that Najib’s pardon application should not have been processed as he had only served one-and-a-half years of his sentence.

Najib, 70, since Aug 23, 2022, has been serving jail time in Kajang Prison for misappropriating RM42mil of funds belonging to SRC International, a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) as well as for three counts of criminal breach of trust.

Following the reduction of his sentence by the Pardons Board on Feb 2, the former Pekan Member of Parliament will be freed from prison on Aug 23, 2028.

He is currently facing multiple charges for power abuse and money laundering involving 1MDB funds. – The Star