Media barred from covering Najib’s judicial review bid related to house arrest

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 17 Apr 2024

KUALA LUMPUR: The press has been barred from covering the proceedings in Datuk Seri Najib Razak's application for leave to initiate judicial review in his claim over a royal addendum order which would allow him to serve his remaining prison term under house arrest.

At the outset of the proceedings here on Wednesday (April 17), his lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah applied to High Court judge Justice Amarjeet Singh for the case to be conducted in chambers due to its sensitive nature.

The lawyer said all of the documents have been filed.

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"In chambers mean the proceedings can be carried out physically in court but in chambers.

“I also have been told and indicated to my learned friend (Senior Federal Counsels Shamsul Bolhassan and Ahmad Hanir Hambaly) who are also receptive of the idea, in view of certain materials disclosed in the last affidavit which is apparently sensitive,” Muhammad Shafee said.

Justice Amarjeet allowed the application.

"All other parties are not allowed to partake in the proceedings including the media," the judge said.

The hearing then moved to the judge’s chambers with Najib's team of lawyers and the SFCs representing the respondents in attendance.

Najib filed the application through law firm Messrs Shafee & Co on April 1.

He claimed there was an addendum order by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in the royal pardon granted to him on Jan 29, whereby in the addendum, he was allowed to serve his prison sentence under house arrest.

He named the Home Minister, the Commissioner General of Prisons, the Attorney General, the Federal Territories Pardons Board, the Minister at the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform), director-general of the legal affairs at the Prime Minister's Department and the government as the first until the seventh respondents respectively.

In the notice of application, Najib sought a mandamus order that all of the respondents or one of them to answer and verify the existence of the addendum order dated Jan 29.

Najib is seeking a mandamus order where if the addendum order exists, all or one of the respondents must execute the royal order and immediately move him from the Kajang Prison to his residence in Kuala Lumpur where he would serve his remaining sentence under house arrest.

The former Pekan MP is also seeking a mandamus order for all or one of the respondents to give a copy of the royal decree by the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the reduction of his prison sentence and fine and the addendum order, both dated Jan 29.

Najib also seeks costs and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.

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