Zahid had special permission to visit Najib, says Home Minister

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was granted special permission to visit Datuk Seri Najib Razak at Kajang Prison, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

The Home Minister said the Deputy Prime Minister was granted special permission by the Prisons Department director-general.

He said that according to Article 86 of the Prisons Regulations Act 2000, special permission must be granted by the minister or the Prisons Department director-general.

“There are two people who are authorised to approve the special permission, myself and the Prisons Department director-general.

“The Prisons Department director-general had informed me of the matter.

“I have acknowledged it and then it follows the procedural process by the commissioner-general,” he told the media during a press conference at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday (June 14).

Saiffuddin added that any change to the duration of the visit would depend on the discretion of the officer in charge.

Article 87 of the Act provides for a prisoner to be entitled to receive a visit for the duration of 45 minutes.

A sub-regulation, however, stated the officer in charge may vary the length of the visit.

“The officer in charge is the authoritative figure to decide during the visitation.

“As I have mentioned before it is based on the Act whereby Article 86 and Article 99 where the consideration on how long the visit can be made.

“I have visited Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Sungai Buloh Prison and was given 15 minutes or sometimes 30 minutes but it is rare to get a 45-minute-long visit because it is based on the discretion of the officer in charge,” he said.

The Article 99 of the Prisons Regulation Act 2000 states that no outside food is allowed unless otherwise permitted by the officer in charge.

On June 10, Ahmad Zahid revealed that he recently visited Najib who is serving a 12-year prison sentence, for more than one-and-a-half-hours.

The meeting was also attended by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Anuar Nasarah.

Ahmad Zahid said they had breakfast together with the food brought by the Bagan Datuk MP.

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