Two possible scenarios now for Najib

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has two options before him now that he has been ordered to serve his 12-year jail sentence following the Federal Court’s decision to uphold his SRC International Sdn Bhd conviction, says a top lawyer.

Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said Najib’s lawyers might file an application for the Federal Court to review its own decision.

ALSO READ: Najib: I didn’t get a fair trial

“They may want to try, but at this point Najib will still have to go to prison pending the decision of the review application,” he said when contacted yesterday.

This comes under an exercise of the apex court’s inherent power via Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 which provides the following: “For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that nothing in these rules shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the court to hear any application or to make any order as may be necessary to prevent injustice or to prevent an abuse of the process of the court.”

Another option for Najib is to file a petition for a Royal Pardon, but this is outside of the criminal appeal system, said Haniff Khatri.

“It is up to Najib to put in a petition application to the Pardons Board and let the board decide,” he added.

ALSO READ: Najib fails to overturn verdict

According to the Prison Regulation 2000, a prisoner may, if he wishes, petition the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the Ruler or Yang di-Pertua Negeri, as the case may be, on the subject of his conviction or sentence, as soon as practicable after his conviction.

A second such petition shall be allowed when a prisoner has completed three years from the date of conviction, and thereafter such petitions shall be granted at two-year intervals, unless there are special circumstances, in which case the Officer-in-Charge may consider whether it should be brought to the notice of the King or the state Rulers or the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, as the case may be.

Asked about Najib’s Pekan parliamentary seat, constitutional lawyer New Sin Yew said that his status as the MP for Pekan remains intact for at least the next 14 days.

“If there is no petition for pardon within the next 14 days, then he will be disqualified. If there is a royal pardon, then Najib will remain as MP until and unless the royal pardon is denied,” he added.

On Saturday, Bar Council president Karen Cheah alleged that the justice system had been abused and brought into disrepute through the frantic acts and numerous attempts to postpone the hearing of Najib’s appeal.

She said in a statement that advocates and solicitors involved in such acts would have to face disciplinary action.

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Najib Razak , jail , SRC Interna­tional


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