Najib may walk out of prison before 2028, say lawyers


PETALING JAYA: The possibility of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak leaving prison in 2025 to spend the remaining sentence under home detention looms as he is eligible to apply for parole next year based on his revised prison term, says lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla.

“The decision by the Pardons Board to commute Najib’s jail term from 12 years to six - to be released on Aug 23, 2028 - and reduce his current fine of RM210mil to RM50mil is the complete prerogative of the King.

“Should he not pay the RM50mil, he would have to serve another year in prison.

“This, however, does not mean that Najib has run out of alternatives to reduce his time in prison further, he said.

Mohamed Haniff explains that under the parole system, as stated by the Prisons Act 1965, under the Act 537 Section 46(E)(6), a convict who has completed 50% of his maximum sentence may apply to the Parole Board.

ALSO READ: Najib gets reduction in jail time, fine

“The Parole Board then can decide to release the convict to complete the rest of his sentence at any of his residential addresses with conditions set by the Parole Board.

“This means that, provided Najib has paid the fine, he should be in prison until Aug 23 in 2028,” he said

“However, on 23 August 2025, when he has completed 50% of his sentence in prison, Najib can apply to the Parole Board to complete the remaining three years at his residence,” added Mohamed Haniff.

ALSO READ: 'The pardon is appreciated but we feel Najib should be fully pardoned,’ says Yana Najib

Meanwhile, human rights lawyer Andrew Khoo said that he, too, agrees that Najib might be walking out of prison earlier than 2028.

“Like all convicted persons sentenced to a term of imprisonment, Najib would enjoy a one-third remission of his jail sentence for good behaviour.

“As his jail term has been reduced, the one-third remission would be based on his revised jail term.

ALSO READ: Pardons Board needs to explain why Najib’s sentence was reduced, says KJ

“However, before he can be released, he would have had to also satisfy the other elements of his sentence, namely the fine. He must have settled the fine before he can enjoy early release,” said Khoo.

He, however, pointed out that the additional one-year jail term for failing to pay the RM50mil fine is wholly disproportionate.

“This is taking into account what the courts have handed down as jail sentences for failure to pay fines.

“One only has to look at cases reported in the press to see that the failure to pay fines of much lower amounts than RM50mil have resulted in proportionately much longer jail sentences,” said Khoo.

The Pardons Board on Friday (Feb 2) announced that it had decided to commute convicted former prime minister Najib’s jail term from 12 years to six.

According to a statement by the board, Najib will be released on Aug 23, 2028 and the fine has been reduced to RM50mil from RM210mil.

"However, if the fine is not paid, a year will be added to the jail term, and the release date will then be on Aug 23, 2029," the Pardons Board secretariat said on Friday (Feb 2).

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Najib , Parole , Home Arrest , Lawyers

   

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