Lawyers anticipate Najib may be out on good behaviour by 2026

Photo: Reuters

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Razak could be released from prison as early as 2026 on good behaviour, say several lawyers.

“The remission would include the prison time he had served,” said senior lawyer Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu.

ALSO READ: Najib gets his clemency, but still has to serve jail time

The former prime minister has served 17 months and one week after he was found guilty of misappropriation in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

Baljit said this was perhaps one of the rare incidents where a partial pardon had been granted.

“Normally, a full pardon is granted,” he said.

Senior lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said Najib would only have to serve over two more years of jail term based on the one-third remission.

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If a remission is granted and Najib has served two out of the four-year sentence by 2024, he will be eligible to apply for parole under Section 46(E) 6 of the Prisons Act.

Najib could also apply for parole after serving half of his six-year sentence, which would be in 2025, he said.

“He can apply for parole, and he can be asked to serve the balance of (his sentence) from home,” he said.

Referring to the move by the Pardons Board to reduce the former prime minister’s jail term from 12 years to six, lawyer Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent said Najib would be entitled to a one-third remission of his jail term.

“This is automatic, with no application made. It is given for good behaviour,” he said.

“The remission is based on the sentence.

“If he is sentenced to six years, if he gets one third remission, he will serve four years from the date he started serving his sentence,” he said when contacted.

According to Section 44 of the Prison Act 1995, a prisoner will automatically be entitled to a standard one-third remission or reduction of their jail time for good behaviour.

However, Geethan said the outcome of the 1MDB trial, which is currently ongoing, will not have any bearing on the partial pardon given for the sentence Najib is serving in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

“This is purely for this case (SRC International) only,” he said.

Najib, 70, has been serving time at the Kajang Prison since Aug 23, 2022, after being convicted of misappropriating RM42mil in SRC International funds.

On July 28, 2020, the High Court sentenced him to 12 years in jail and fined him RM210mil.

Besides reducing his jail term to six years, the Pardons Board also announced yesterday that the fine would be lowered to RM50mil.

This means that he will be freed on Aug 23, 2028, if he settles the RM50mil fine.

If the fine is not paid, another year will be added to the jail term, bringing the release date to Aug 23, 2029.

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