KUALA LUMPUR: In the midst of the country’s political turmoil, a lawyer has initiated legal action against the Federal Territories Pardons Board and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim over a royal pardon granted to him relating to his sodomy conviction.
Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz filed the suit at the High Court registry here today, through law firm Messrs Raja Riza & Associates.
In the suit, the 43-year old who is also Parti Bumiputera Pesaka Malaysia (Putra) vice-president, named the Pardons Board and Anwar, 73, as the defendants.
According to his statement of claim, Khairul or better known as ‘Buzze Azam’ said on Feb 10, 2015, the Federal Court had affirmed the decision meted by the Court of Appeal on the PKR leader’s five-year jail sentence pertaining to a sodomy charge against Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, the latter’s former aide.
He said however, on May 9, 2018, after the 14th General Election and the new government was formed, there were several illegal and unconstitutional moves taken to ensure Anwar was pardoned and released from his sentence.
He contended that two days after the formation of the new federal government and before the complete Cabinet line-up was formed, former prime minister (now interim) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed announced that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had given Anwar a full pardon.
He said Anwar was then able to contest in a by-election and was elected as the Port Dickson member of parliament which he claimed was against the constitution.
Khairul claimed that according to Article 42(4) and (5) of the Federal Constitution, the power of pardon by the Agong requires the advice of the Pardons Board.
He contended that the Board had not been properly formed two days after the formation of the new government, and thus it was impossible for it to be able to convene.
Khairul is seeking a declaration that the Pardons Board was illegally formed and therefore its advice to pardon Anwar was invalid to start with.
He is also seeking a declaration that the pardon granted to Anwar was illegal and invalid.
As an alternative to the said declarations, Khairul is seeking a declaration that a royal pardon would only be limited to the sentence and not affect or annul Anwar’s conviction by the Federal Court.
The lawyer in a brief statement said he was questioning the Pardons Board’s composition, claiming that it was illegally formed and it did not satisfy the legal requirements under the Federal Constitution.
On May 11, 2018, Dr Mahathir announced that the 15th Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, consented to an immediate royal pardon for Anwar, before he (Dr Mahathir) was sworn in as the country’s seventh Prime Minisiter.