House arrest: Court to decide whether Najib can initiate judicial review

Najib Abdul Razak will know today whether he can proceed with his court challenge over the government’s alleged refusal to implement a supplementary royal order for the remainder of his six-year jail term to be served as house arrest.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court is set to deliver a decision over the former prime minister’s application for leave to commence judicial review that relied on the existence of the alleged royal addendum accompanying a main order that discounted his jail term and fine.

Judge Amarjeet Singh will determine whether the former finance minister's judicial review application is not frivolous or vexatious, and deserves to be subjected to a full hearing of its merits.

Najib’s legal bid is backed by affidavits with Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Pahang Menteri Besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail’s affirmation.

Zahid claimed that he was shown a copy of the alleged royal addendum by International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, via the latter’s mobile phone during a meeting on Jan 30.

Wan Rosdy claimed that Zafrul informed him about the purported royal document on the same day and that they had discussed it later that day during a meeting with Zahid.

Pahang Menteri Besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail

Najib has also cited Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s speech at a PKR special convention in April to strengthen his contention on the alleged supplementary royal order.

In the speech, Anwar reportedly said that the federal government will not question the authority of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to decide on the issue and that the king has the final say as the Pardons Board chairperson.

Judicial review application

On April 1, while serving jail time at the Kajang prison over the RM42 million SRC International corruption case, Najib filed the judicial review leave application.

Najib’s judicial review targeted seven respondents, including the federal government, the home minister, the attorney-general, and the Pardons Board for Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.

The former Pekan MP is seeking a court order to compel the respondents to confirm this alleged addendum, which was purportedly issued on the same day as the main royal order on Jan 29.

Najib also seeks a court order to compel the respondents 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”.

He 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.

Najib claimed that his rights had been adversely affected and infringed upon by the respondents in ignoring his inquiries over the alleged royal addendum.

He claimed that 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.

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

Law firm Shafee & Co represented Najib while the Attorney-General’s Chambers acted for the respondents. - Mkini

House arrest: Court to decide whether Najib can initiate judicial review