Cabinet did not discuss if Pardons Board needs to justify Najib's sentence reduction, says Fahmi

PUTRAJAYA: The Cabinet did not discuss if there is a need for the Pardons Board to explain its decision to commute Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's sentence and reduce his fine, says government spokesman Fahmi Fadzil.

He said the board's discussions and deliberations were a secret and there was no precedent set where the board had to explain its decision.

Fahmi then added that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had addressed the matter on Monday (Feb 5) during the monthly gathering with the Prime Minister's Department staff.

"The Prime Minister has already spoken on the matter," he told reporters on Wednesday (Feb 7).

Anwar had said all parties should respect the board's decision, pointing out that the consideration was not a matter of law but the prerogative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

He also said it was not true that Najib needed to serve at least three years of his sentence before his pardon application could be heard.

Najib, 70, has been serving his prison sentence at Kajang Prison since Aug 23, 2022, after he was convicted of misappropriating RM42mil from SRC International.

He filed a petition for a royal pardon on Sept 2, 2022.

On July 8, 2020, the High Court sentenced Najib to 12 years in prison and a fine of RM210mil after finding him guilty of three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of position.

Najib's appeal against the conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in 2021 and the Federal Court on Aug 23, 2022, making a royal pardon his only hope for freedom.

It was announced on Feb 2 that the Pardons Board had commuted Najib's jail sentence from 12 years to six and reduced the fine imposed from RM210mil to RM50mil.

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