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Media barred from proceedings in Najib’s bid to make govt produce 'house arrest order'
Published on: Wednesday, April 17, 2024
By: FMT
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Media barred from proceedings in Najib’s bid to make govt produce 'house arrest order'
Former prime minister Najib Razak is serving a reduced sentence at Kajang prison and is scheduled for release on Aug 23, 2028. (Bernama pic)
Kuala Lumpur: The public has been barred from observing proceedings in Najib Razak’s bid to compel the government to produce a “supplementary order” purportedly issued by the former king which allegedly allows the former prime minister to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest.

Lawyer Shafee Abdullah made the request to Justice Amarjeet Singh at the start of proceedings today.

“In view of certain materials disclosed in the last affidavit, it is apparently sensitive,” he said.

Shafee added that senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan and Ahmad Hanir Hambaly, appearing for the Attorney-General’s Chambers, did not object to having the case heard in camera.

Amarjeet then ordered everyone in the public gallery, including journalists, to leave the court.

In his application filed on April 1, Najib claimed that then Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah issued the supplementary decree during the Federal Territories Pardons Board’s (FTPB) meeting on Jan 29, a day before his term ended.

The FTPB is headed by the king and consists of five members: the attorney-general, federal territories minister and a maximum of three others appointed by the king.

“However, the ‘addendum order’ (supplementary decree) was not announced by the board on Feb 2,” Najib alleged.

Najib said his lawyers had written to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, and law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said to confirm whether the supplementary decree existed.

“The requests went unanswered,” Najib claimed.

“The respondents’ failure to confirm the existence of the supplementary decree and the applicant’s (Najib) request to be served with it, along with the subsequent inaction by the prisons department to execute the said decree, is irrational.”

Najib also alleged that the government was in contempt for not executing the supplementary decree.

The former Umno president wants the Kuala Lumpur High Court to compel the government to execute the supplementary decree, if it exists, to place him under house arrest.

On Feb 2, the FTPB halved Najib’s prison sentence in his SRC International case from 12 years to six and reduced his fine from RM210 million to RM50 million.

Najib, 70, is currently serving his sentence at Kajang prison and is to be released on Aug 23, 2028.

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