MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Najib house arrest: May 2 hearing of Zafrul's intervener bid


The Kuala Lumpur High Court has set Thursday this week to hear Investment, Trade, and Industry Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz’s bid to intervene in former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s house arrest legal action.

Zafrul seeks the intervener status so that he be allowed by the civil court to file an affidavit to correct alleged factual errors in Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s affidavit in support of Najib’s judicial review.

When asked by Malaysiakini, the former finance minister’s counsel Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee confirmed that civil court judge Amarjeet Singh set 2.30pm on May 2 to hear Zafrul’s application.

The lawyer added that they were informed by the court via email yesterday about the hearing date.

Two weeks ago, Zafrul (above) claimed there were factual errors in Zahid’s affidavit supporting Najib’s attempt to have his remaining jail sentence served under house arrest.

Zafrul’s lawyers said they have instructions to file the affidavit to address Paragraph 6 of Zahid’s affidavit due to purported “factual inaccuracies” which ought to be corrected.

Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak

Paragraph 6 refers to Zahid’s claim that during a Jan 30 meeting with Zafrul, the deputy prime minister was not only informed about the existence of the royal addendum but that the fellow cabinet minister allegedly showed a copy of the supplementary royal order on his (Zafrul’s) smartphone.

“For the record, we are further instructed by our client to state that our client takes no position as to the merits of the dispute between the parties.

“Our client merely wishes to ensure that the facts are accurately placed before this honourable court in a neutral manner,” said the legal team from law firm Cecil Abraham and Partners.

In his affidavit, Zahid claimed that on Jan 30, Zafrul informed him of the addendum order dated Jan 29 during a meeting at his house at Country Heights, Selangor.

On April 4, Najib’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told the media that a “critical witness” was set to file an affidavit to support Najib’s judicial review seeking to serve house arrest for the remainder of his six-year jail sentence over the RM42 million SRC International corruption case.

House arrest judicial review

Najib is seeking leave to commence the judicial review for implementation of an alleged addendum by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong linked to the partial pardon that halved his jail sentence to six years and discounted his fine from RM210 million to RM50 million.

According to Najib’s affidavit in support of his judicial review, the former Pekan MP claimed that the king’s main royal order allowing the partial pardon was accompanied by a supplementary royal order containing the house arrest provision.

The former Umno president is seeking a court order to compel the home minister, the attorney-general, the Pardons Board, the federal government, and a few other respondents to confirm this alleged addendum in the partial pardon.

According to a copy of the judicial review bid, Najib claimed that the Agong issued the addendum on Jan 29, the same day as the main partial pardon order.

Najib is seeking a court order to compel the respondents to not only confirm the royal addendum but also to “forthwith remove the applicant from Kajang Prison facility to his known residences in Kuala Lumpur, where the applicant would continue to serve his imprisonment sentence under house arrest”.

Najib also seeks a mandamus order to compel the respondents to provide the original version of the royal addendum, costs, and any other relief deemed fit by the court.

He claimed in his affidavit to support the judicial review that his rights had been adversely affected and infringed upon by the respondents in ignoring his enquiries over the alleged royal addendum.

The respondents’ disregard of his request constituted a direct intrusion of his basic rights under the Federal Constitution and also amounted to direct contempt of the Agong, he added.

Najib further alleged that the respondents are trying to conceal the existence of the alleged royal addendum.

On March 4, Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail assured that Najib is not on the list of prisoners who will be serving time under house arrest.

The minister told Malaysiakini that only prisoners serving less than four years of jail time, senior citizens, pregnant women, and people with disabilities will be on the home detention list.

“Najib is not included in that list,” Saifuddin was reported as saying. - Mkini

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