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Malaysian Bar duty-bound to seek review of Najib’s pardon, says president

Publish date: Fri, 17 May 2024, 10:13 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — New Malaysian Bar president Mohamad Ezri Abdul Wahab said it was obligated to seek judicial review of the partial pardon Datuk Seri Najib Razak received from the Federal Territory Pardons Board.

In an interview with Malaysiakini, Mohamad Ezri said this was because the pardons must be justified with the advice for their issuance.

“Following the resolution, and in fulfilling its statutory duty to uphold the cause of justice, uninfluenced by fear or favour, the Malaysian Bar has applied for leave to commence judicial review against the Federal Territory Pardons Board’s decisions and Najib in the Kuala Lumpur High Court on April 26.

“It is the concerted view of the Malaysian Bar that the granting of a pardon is not a discretionary power and must be exercised on advice,” he was quoted as saying.

In the application filed on April 26, the Bar asserted that the board acted unconstitutionally in granting Najib a hearing before he was due for one, effectively violating other eligible prisoners’ right to equality under the Federal Constitution.

The Bar further argued that the board’s decision did not take into account other circumstances surrounding Najib, such as other ongoing criminal trials for which he may be sentenced to further imprisonment.

On February 2, the Pardons Board announced that Najib’s initial 12-year jail term has been halved to six years, which means he can be released earlier on August 23, 2028.

The Pardons Board said it had also decided to reduce his RM210 million fine to RM50 million, and his early release would be contingent on him paying this amount.

Aside from seeking to void Najib’s pardon, Mohamad Ezri said the Malaysian Bar was also applying for a permanent injunction barring Najib or his representatives from seeking future pardons before the resolution of all his criminal trials.

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