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Pardons Board discusses former PM Najib’s case amidst speculation in Malaysia

A Malaysian minister confirmed the Pardons Board, chaired by the King, met on Monday to discuss Najib Razak’s royal pardon. Today, a Malay news outlet retracted a false claim of his pardon.

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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: The Pardons Board is set to release a statement on the application for a royal pardon by former Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

This application pertains to the 70-year-old conviction and 12-year jail sentence related to the misappropriation of RM42 million (approximately US$8.9 million) from SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Minister in the Prime Minister (Federal Territories) Dr Zaliha Mustafa confirmed her attendance at a Pardons Board meeting on Monday (29 January) at Istana Negara, according to a report by Malaysian media outlet Berita Harian.

However, she refrained from providing additional details on the matter.

“Wait for the official statement from the Pardons Board,” she emphasized.

An earlier report by Utusan Malaysia had indicated that the Pardons Board convened on the mentioned day, chaired by the then 16th Malaysian King, Al-Sultan Abdullah Riáyatuddin Mustafa Billah Shah.

The agenda reportedly included discussions on Najib’s pardon bid.

The Malay language news outlet on Tuesday (30 January) issued an apology over the article claiming that the former PM had been granted a royal pardon.

Utusan Malaysia retracted the article, citing the inability to verify the facts.

“Therefore, we apologise to our readers,” it said in a statement.

As the Pahang ruler concludes his term as the country’s 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Johor ruler, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, is set to assume the role of the 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong for a five-year term starting 31 January.

On 23 August 2022, Najib Razak was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined RM210 million after being found guilty of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

Malaysians had waited for 4 years after Najib was first charged in 2018 to the date the Federal Court finally rejected his final appeals on 23 August 2022.

Following the verdict, he was transported to Kajang Prison, located on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

To date, Najib has been a prisoner for more than one year and five months.

Najib’s lawyer, Shafee Abdullah, previously stated that a pardon application was initially submitted in September 2022, with subsequent addendums to the petition filed in October of that year and in April 2023.

Public concerns grow over the fate of Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor in ongoing 1MDB cases

In September 2023, Malaysia’s Court of Appeal upheld the acquittal of Najib Razak on an audit tampering charge in the investigation into corruption at the 1MDB state wealth fund.

Najib was acquitted in March after a Kuala Lumpur High Court judge ruled prosecutors failed to provide sufficient evidence that he had tampered with an audit report on scandal-racked 1MDB.

That charge focused on allegations that Najib ordered a report by the government’s official audit body on the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund to be altered in February 2016.

Najib’s acquittal from the tampering charge does not affect his current jail sentence and he faces dozens more charges that could lengthen that term.

Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor was found guilty of graft in 2022 and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

She remains on bail pending an appeal.

The potential for Najib Razak’s remaining three cases related to 1MDB and income tax, as well as Rosmah Mansor’s RM7.1 million money laundering and tax evasion case, to face similar outcomes, has raised alarms among the Malaysian public.

Civil society group in Malaysia in October last year warned that if Najib and Rosmah are released from corruption charges, it could have detrimental consequences, damaging Malaysia’s rule of law and deterring global investors.

They called for a temporary halt to applications for Discharge Not Amounting to Acquittal (DNAA) or complete acquittals in cases involving politicians.

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It will be a surprise if Najib is pardoned considering he (Najib) has other criminal charges still pending.

Indeed if he is pardoned and later found guilty of the remaining charges, it will be a very comical situation then. Will he apply for another pardon from the new Agong?

My guess is saner voices would have advised to let the status quo remain; let all cases against Najib be completed first before a pardon is contemplated.

No corruption … No hanky panky … And it is the same thing All Over again …

Steal already still get pardon …
But minions steal cannot …
The hypocrites of the world

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