Crime & Courts

[UPDATED] In affidavit, Zahid "confirms" former King ordered house arrest for Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamdi has confirmed the existence of an addendum order from the former Yang di-Pertuan Agong allowing Datuk Seri Najib Razak to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest.

The Umno president claimed the impugned document was shown to him by former Selangor Umno treasurer Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz at his house near Country Heights on Jan 30.

The Rural and Regional Development minister said this in his supporting affidavit dated April 9 in Najib's judicial review application to compel the government to produce the impugned document.

He said Tengku Zafrul showed him a copy of the addendum order on his phone which he personally photographed or scanned from an original copy as shown to him by the former King, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

"The contents of the addendum order expressly stated that the applicant (Najib) be allowed to serve the reduced sentence of his imprisonment under the condition of house arrest, instead of the current prison confinement in the Kajang Prison.

"I further sighted that the addendum order is dated Jan 29 and bears the seal and signature of His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda the Yang di-Pertuan Agong XVI.

"I further confirm that the addendum order is genuine and in fact is the Royal Prerogative Order as the Main Order.

"I verily believe that for the sufficient period of time I sighted and read the addendum order, and I clearly saw the entire contents and that it forms part of the pardon process.

"Thus, I hereby confirm the existence of the addendum order dated Jan 29 issued by the former King," he claimed in the document which is accessible to the public domain on the judiciary website.

According to the affidavit, Zahid said he did not have a copy of the impugned document but that others including the Attorney-General and Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail had sighted the addendum order.

Earlier, Najib's counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah asked the court to exclude the public from hearing the application due to "several sensitive materials" in the case.

Senior Federal Counsels Shamsul Bolhassan and Ahmad Hanir Hambaly did not object to his request for the matters to be heard in chambers.

Judge Datuk Amarjeet Singh allowed Shafee's application and fixed June 5 to deliver the verdict.

Outside of court, Shafee told reporters that he could not name the person attesting the affidavit. He also claimed the affidavit had been sealed by the court and could not be accessed by anyone else.

However, when contacted, a deputy court registrar told the New Straits Times that the court did not issue any seal order on the affidavit.

On Jan 29, Najib, the former Pekan member of parliament filed an application to compel the government to produce the impugned document which he said was not revealed by the authorities.

He named the Home Minister, Prison Department commissioner general, Attorney-General (AG), Federal Territories Pardons Board, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform), Legal Affairs Division director-general, and the government as respondents.

Najib said he later instructed his solicitors to confirm the details of the addendum order with the AG by way of a letter dated Feb 14.

The letter was copied to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as well as his deputy Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The existence of the addendum order and its non-enforcement was escalated to the Home Minister on March 22.

Najib has claimed that his lawyers have requested an original copy or a copy of the order from the Kajang Prison but has not received a response.

He also claimed the subsequent inaction by the Home Minister and Prison Department commissioner general to execute the said order, is irrational, unreasonable, illegal, and arbitrary and offends the Federal Constitution and laws.

Najib is currently serving a 12-year jail term after he was found guilty of abuse of power and criminal breach of trust involving RM42 million from SRC International, a former 1MDB subsidiary.

He was also fined RM210 million.

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