KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pix) has stated that all parties must respect the decision made by the Pardons Board in granting a reduction in the prison sentence and fine against former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.
He said the decision was made by the then Yang di-Pertuan Agong and everyone has to respect it.
“I respect the decision of the then King. Now we have a new King. Whatever one feels, of course, it is very political, some support, some don’t. But they cannot ignore the fact that you must respect the rights of everyone convicted to appeal to the Pardons Board.
“Now the Pardons Board has made the decision. If one is satisfied then it’s fair; if not satisfied he or she still has the avenue to appeal at the later stage,“ he said in an interview with Al Jazeera Mubasher here today.
Anwar said this when asked to comment on the decision on Najib’s pardon application.
Najib, who is serving a 12-year prison sentence, will be released earlier on Aug 23, 2028, after the Pardons Board decided to reduce his sentence by half.
The Pardons Board for the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya made the decision at its 61st meeting on Jan 29.
According to a statement issued by the Pardons Board Secretariat today, the amount of fine to be paid by Najib is also reduced to RM50 million from the original RM210 million.
Anwar said the King, as a constitutional monarch, consults the Attorney General, the Prime Minister and others.
“He is of course the bastion, and to uphold the constitution and the rule of law,” said the Prime Minister, adding that he believed that all considerations were taken into account before the decision was made.
Najib, 70, has been serving the jail sentence at the Kajang Prison since Aug 23, 2022, after being convicted of misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International funds. He filed the petition for a royal pardon on Sept 2, 2022.
On July 28, 2020, the High Court sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and fined him RM210 million after finding him guilty of three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and one charge of abusing his position over SRC funds.
His appeal against his conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in 2021 and by the Federal Court on Aug 23 the following year, leaving only a royal pardon as his last avenue for freedom. -Bernama