Shafee Claims The Former King Wanted To Give Najib A Full Pardon

According to a royal letter, it was the Pardons Board that advised the king to keep Najib's full sentence.

Cover image via Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini & New Straits Times

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Datuk Seri Najib Razak's lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, has claimed that the previous Yang di-Pertuan Agong wanted to grant his client a full royal pardon on 29 January

During a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex yesterday, 7 February, Shafee claimed that, while Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah wanted to grant Najib a full pardon, the then-king opted to conduct a vote among the Pardons Board members to decide on the matter instead, reported Malaysiakini.

"He passed four empty vote papers to the four non-permanent members [of the Pardons Board to indicate their stance on whether to grant a full pardon]," he said.

Shafee added that he was unaware of the outcome of the vote, but emphasised that it resulted in Najib having his sentence reduced instead of receiving a full pardon.

Shafee then asserted that, "[A royal] pardon is the sole prerogative of Yang di-Pertuan Agong. He can listen to the advice of the [Pardons Board members] but he shouldn't [have held] the vote and [should have] decided on his own [instead]."

It was mentioned in the letter that the Pardons Board had reviewed Najib's case and advised the then-King that Najib should serve out the remainder of his jail term instead of being granted a full pardon

During the press conference, Shafee had read out a letter bearing the seal of the former king that showed the Pardons Board's recommendation.

"The announcement [in the letter] is made by someone called YB Dr Zaliha Mustafa [the de facto Federal Territories Minister]," Malaysiakini quoted him as saying.

According to Shafee, the letter reads as such:

'The Pardons Board, following Article 42 of the Federal Constitution, had on 29 January considered the convict's sentence and advised the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that he should serve out the rest of his sentence. It is reasonable in His Majesty [the King’s] view, that mercy should be shown to Najib.'

Consequently, Shafee said the former king used his authority under Article 42 of the Federal Constitution and other powers to decree that Najib's jail sentence be halved.

Al-Sultan Abdullah also decreed that Najib's fine be reduced to RM50 million, with the stipulation that failure to pay the fine would result in an additional year added to his prison sentence.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Image via Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

The lawyer also said his client would be submitting a new application to request for a full royal pardon again soon

"It is unclear if the process of the Pardons Board and the decisions made to it are regular or otherwise," he said, claiming that the Pardons Board did not act in accordance with the Federal Constitution.

"The law clearly states that the royal prerogative of mercy is the sole discretion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. It is unfettered and non-challengeable in any court," the New Straits Times quoted him as saying.

"However, many members of the public are somewhat concerned due to the inconsistencies. My client is most baffled. As a result of these unsatisfactory features, we are looking at another application for a full royal pardon," he added.

Shafee also said that his team would decide when to submit the application, emphasising that they would have sufficient grounds, including some new ones.

Image via Utusan Malaysia

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