Don't hide behind Pardons Board over Najib decision, Mukhriz tells Anwar

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his government must take responsibility for the Pardons Board's decision to reduce Datuk Seri Najib Razak's prison sentence, says Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.

The Parti Pejuang Tanah Air president questioned the rationale of the decision when the former prime minister still had other pending cases in court.

"I also cannot comprehend the excuse given by Anwar that it was completely the Pardons Board's decision on the matter," said Mukhriz in a video recording on Monday (Feb 5).

"If we look at it closely, the decision made by the Pardon's Board benefits the government led by Anwar, in return for the support of Barisan Nasional," added Mukhriz.

On Friday (Feb 2), the Pardons Board announced that the prison sentence for Najib would be reduced from 12 years to six and the fine reduced from RM210mil to RM50mil.

Najib, 70, who has been serving the jail sentence at the Kajang Prison since Aug 23, 2022, after being convicted of misappropriating RM42mil in SRC International funds, filed the petition for a royal pardon on Sept 2, 2022.

On July 28, 2020, the High Court sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and a RM210mil fine after finding him guilty of three counts of criminal breach of trust and one charge of abusing his position.

His appeal against his conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in 2021 and Aug 23 the following year by the Federal Court, leaving only a royal pardon as his last avenue for freedom.

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