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Former Malaysian PM Najib’s jail term reduced to 6 years: CNA reports

Malaysia’s Pardons Board is set to reduce ex-PM Najib Razak’s corruption sentence from 12 to 6 years, CNA reported citing source. Speculation heightened after a minister confirmed Monday’s board meeting, urging the public to await the official statement.

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MALAYSIA: The Pardons Board, led by Malaysia’s king, has reportedly set to reduce the former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s corruption sentence from 12 to six years, as disclosed by sources cited by CNA.

On Wednesday (31 January), the Singapore mainstream media outlet reported that according to three separate sources, including senior government officials who spoke on condition of strict confidentiality, the board has decreased his RM210 million (US$44.4 million) fine to an undisclosed amount.

This partial royal pardon is related to Najib’s involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case, and it comes after he served more than one year and five months at Kajang Prison since 2022.

With this reduction, it is anticipated that Najib will conclude his sentence by August 2028.

However, considering parole for good behaviour, there is a possibility of his release as early as August 2026, having completed two-thirds of the revised jail term.

The speculation surrounding the pardon gained momentum following an official confirmation by Dr Zaliha Mustafa, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Federal Territories), who affirmed that the board, including herself, convened on Monday.

An official announcement from the Pardons Board is expected soon.

This meeting marked one of Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin’s final official duties before stepping down as 16th Malaysia’s king on 30 January, passing the role to Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar as part of the country’s distinctive rotation system among its nine royal state households.

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 issued an apology over the article claiming that the former PM had been granted a royal pardon.

Najib’s pardon not discussed in the cabinet, says minister

Amid speculation about the Pardons Board’s decision, Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Chang Lih Kang stated that the matter was not discussed in the cabinet meeting.

He emphasized that pardons are the absolute prerogative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) and do not require the Prime Minister’s advice or cabinet discussion, as reported by Malaysiakini.

The cabinet appears to be emphasizing the separation of powers between the executive and the Pardons Board chaired by the King.

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.

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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No. We are better. We don’t even prosecute them because of “lack of evidence” 🙂 Even better, we don’t even INVESTICATE because …. you need to ask Heng Swee Keat about this.

The ONLY valid reason to reduce this buggers sentence to 6 years is if they are medically CERTAIN that he will kick the bucket in 5.

I think this fella has some dirt on the G or he knows of some skeletons in the closet.
Might work out well for the Mrs too if that be the case.

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