Najib's pardon: Consideration not a matter of law, but King's prerogative, says Anwar

PETALING JAYA: All parties should respect the Pardons Board's decision to commute Datuk Seri Najib Razak's sentence, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says again.

The Prime Minister said that in the decision to reduce Najib's sentence, the huge consideration was not a matter of law but of the prerogative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Speaking at the Prime Minister’s Department’s monthly assembly, Anwar also said it was not true Najib needed to serve at least three years of his sentence before his pardon application could be heard.

He said that anyone who had been convicted (for the first time) can submit an application for a pardon, in line with the process.

Anwar also acknowledged that he had a role in ensuring Najib's application reached the Pardons Board, saying it was his duty as Prime Minister to do so.

However, he denied speeding up the application process.

"The application was made and it is true that as prime minister, I ensured it was heard. I acknowledge respobsibility for that," he said, adding that it was his responsibility to ensure all pardon applications are given prompt attention.

The Pardons Board had earlier said that convicted former prime minister Najib’s jail term had been reduced from 12 years to six.

This means that Najib will be released on Aug 23, 2028.

The fine imposed on him has also 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.

Najib is serving a 12-year sentence after having been found guilty of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in relation to RM42mil that had been siphoned from SRC International, a former 1MBD subsidiary.

He was also fined RM210mil.

The former prime minister is also currently on trial on other charges related to 1MDB.

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