Umno going for full pardon

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno respects the Pardons Board’s decision on Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s case and is calling on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to join hands with the party in its fight for Najib’s release from prison. “

We respect the decision and prerogative of the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah,” the party supreme council said in a statement following a two-hour last-minute special meeting.

It was chaired by Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday.

“While we respect the Federal Constitution, we are still saddened and affected by the decision taken,” it read.

“Umno will continue with its efforts to defend our former president in line with the laws of the country, and in accordance with the decision of the past Umno annual general assembly, which wanted efforts to fight for Najib continued.

“This is because we feel that Najib has not been given due justice during his trials,” it said, adding that “we hope that the Prime Minister will join us to uphold this spirit (to fight for Najib) in accordance with the principles of justice.”

Najib, the former Umno president, started his 12-year prison term when the Federal Court upheld his sentence and fine of RM210mil last August. He was charged with abusing SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds amounting to RM42mil.

On Feb 1, the Pardons Board, chaired by the former King, decided to commute Najib’s jail term to only six years.

According to the board, Najib would be released on Aug 23, 2028 with the fine reduced to RM50mil.

“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 board’s secretariat said on Friday.

After the supreme council meeting, Umno communications director Datuk Lokman Adam told the media that the party had decided to push for a fresh application – a full royal pardon.

Lokman, who is also an Umno supreme council member, said party leaders also expressed their appreciation to Anwar for speeding up Najib’s pardon application.

“In reality, a pardon application is only processed after a person has completed one-third of his sentence,” Lokman said, adding that Umno would continue with its efforts by going on a nationwide signature petition to request the board to consider a full royal pardon.

“We will start the drive after we’ve met the Umno division heads in a few days’ time.

“We also ask everyone to respect the decision by the Pardons Board,” he said.

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