Media not allowed to cover hearing of Najib’s application to challenge existence of addendum order

The case should be conducted in chambers as it involves sensitive issues.

17 Apr 2024 02:37pm
Najib. Bernama FILE PIX
Najib. Bernama FILE PIX

KUALA LUMPUR - The media is not allowed to cover the proceeding of a court case involving Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s application for leave to initiate a judicial review to challenge the existence of an addendum order, said to have been issued with the consent of the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, allowing the former prime minister to serve the remaining six years of his prison sentence under house arrest.

Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, representing Najib, told High Court Judge Datuk Amarjeet Singh that the proceeding of the case should be conducted in chambers as it involves sensitive issues.

"All documents have been filed. Conducting it in chambers means it can be done physically in court but declared in chambers.

"I also have been told and indicated to my learned friend (Senior Federal Counsel - SFC) Shamsul Bolhassan and Ahmad Hanir Hambaly) who are also receptive to the idea given certain materials disclosed in the last affidavit are sensitive,” said the lawyer.

Judge Amarjeet then allowed the proceedings to be conducted in chambers with only lawyers representing Najib and the SFC representing the respondents being allowed to attend.

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

Najib, 70, filed the leave application for judicial review at the High Court here last April 1 through the legal firm of Messrs. Shafee & Co.

He named the Home Minister, Commissioner-general of Prisons, Attorney-General, the Pardons Board for the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya; Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM) (Law and Institutional Reform), Director-General of Legal Affairs at JPM and the Malaysian Government as the first to the seventh respondent.

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The former Pekan Member of Parliament is seeking a mandamus order to compel either all or one of the respondents to respond and confirm the existence of the additional decree dated Jan 29, 2024.

He is also seeking a mandamus order that if the additional decree exists, all or one of the respondents must enforce it immediately by transferring him from Kajang Prison to his residence in Kuala Lumpur for him to serve the remainder of his prison sentence under house arrest.

Najib has been serving his sentence in Kajang Prison since Aug 23, 2022, after being convicted of embezzling RM42 million in funds belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

On Sept 2, 2022, he filed a petition for a royal pardon. The Pardon Board reduced Najib's prison sentence from 12 years to six years, while the fine was reduced from RM210 million to RM50 million. - BERNAMA

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