C4 calls for reforms to pardons process after decision in Najib’s case

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The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism says the decision in Najib Razak’s case must be viewed as a ‘watershed moment for Malaysia’ in reforming the pardons process.
PETALING JAYA: An anti-graft watchdog has urged authorities to consider imposing a minimum waiting period before applications for pardons can be made, following Najib Razak’s commuted sentence in his SRC International case.
The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said Najib’s case must be viewed as a “watershed moment for Malaysia” in reforming the pardons process.
“Suitable limits should be introduced in order to uphold justice and fairness for all, such as mandatory minimum periods for serving one’s prison sentence before a pardon application may be considered,” it said in a statement.
C4 also proposed restrictions against granting pardons where cases of criminal prosecutions of a similar nature are still pending against the detainee.
It said Malaysia should follow other nations which have sets of guiding principles in determining pardon applications.
It said Canada, for example, has a minimum waiting period to be eligible to apply, and requires evidence of substantial injustice or undue hardship arising from the nature of the sentence or conviction.
Under Malaysia’s Prisons Regulations 2000, a prisoner may submit a petition for a royal pardon on his conviction or sentence to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or the state ruler or governor, as the case may be, “as soon as practicable” after his conviction.
Najib had filed an application for a royal pardon on Sept 2, 2022, just days after starting his 12-year jail sentence on Aug 23 in Kajang Prison.
On Friday, the Federal Territories Pardons Board announced that Najib’s prison sentence in the SRC International case has been reduced from 12 years to six and that he will be released on Aug 23, 2028.
His fine was also reduced from RM210 million to RM50 million. However, if he fails to settle the fine, a year will be added to his sentence, which means he will be released on Aug 23, 2029, the board said.
Yesterday, Umno Supreme Council member Lokman Adam told reporters the party is grateful to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim for an earlier hearing of Najib’s petition, which resulted in the commuted sentence and fine.
“By right, Najib’s case can only be heard by the Pardons Board after he has served one-third of his sentence,” he said.

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