File a review at the Federal Court, receive a royal pardon.
Having lost his appeal at the Federal Court today, former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak now has one more avenue in the court system to overturn the verdict that he is guilty of misappropriating RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd, the former subsidiary of 1MDB.
If he opts to do so, he can file a review at the Federal Court, seeking a panel of judges to review the judgment made by their colleagues today.
This comes under an exercise of the apex court’s inherent power via Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 which provides the following:
“For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that nothing in these rules shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the court to hear any application or to make any order as may be necessary to prevent injustice or to prevent an abuse of the process of the court.”
However, this does not mean he can escape jail pending the disposal of the review. He will have to start serving his sentence of 12 years in jail, until then.
A review is different from an appeal because it does not concern the merits of the decision, but whether the process was lawful.
The three grounds for judicial review are illegality, unreasonableness or irrationality, and procedural impropriety.
In this case, Najib may argue that he was denied due process because his legal team is new and did not have sufficient time to prepare his case.
If the bench of judges reviewing the decision finds that the process in which the former premier was convicted was sound, Najib would exhaust all avenues at the court, and must serve the rest of his sentence.
There is a possibility that he may not have to serve his entire jail sentence, if he is let out early on good behaviour or parole.
His sentence can also be commuted if he receives a royal pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
The Agong has the power to grant pardons for all offences committed in Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya.
It is important to note that Najib’s conviction means he loses his parliamentary seat of Pekan, and will be disqualified from standing in the election for five years after release.
If he receives a pardon, Najib will not only be free but can also stand for election. – Malaysiakini