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Pardons Board rejects Anwar's petition

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 (Bernama) -- The Pardons Board has rejected the petition for a royal pardon sought by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is serving a five-year jail sentence for sodomy, senior federal counsel Amarjeet Singh said today.

He said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong rejected Anwar's petition at a meeting of the board on March 16.

As such, Anwar is disqualified as a member of parliament based on Article 48(4)(c) of the Federal Constitution, he told reporters at the High Court (Appellate and Special Powers Division). Anwar is the MP for Permatang Pauh.

Amarjeet Singh said that by virtue of the Pardons Board decision, the court dismissed an application by Anwar for leave for a judicial review of the decision of the commissioner-general of prisons prohibiting him from attending Dewan Rakyat sittings.

Judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad made the decision in chambers in the presence of Amarjeet Singh and Anwar's lawyer, Latheefa Koya.

Amarjeet Singh said Judge Asmabi dismissed Anwar's application with costs of RM3,000.

On Feb 24, Anwar's wife Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and their two children, Nurul Izzah and Nurul Nuha, submitted the petition for a royal pardon to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong over the five-year jail sentence imposed on Anwar after he was found guilty of having sodomised his former personal aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Meanwhile, Latheefa said that a letter addressed to the prison director stated the decision of the Pardons Board and said the sentence imposed on Anwar should be carried out.

She said an affidavit of the director-general of the Legal Affairs Division in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Nursiah Arshad, was attached to the letter.

The affidavit stated that the petition for a royal pardon was presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and that on March 16 the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Pardons Board of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya held a meeting to discuss the matter.

"At the meeting, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong stated that the five-year jail sentence imposed on the applicant should be carried out.

"The letter bearing the decision of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was handed over to the Director-General of Prisons, Prisons Department, for the information of the applicant (Anwar) on March 26, 2015," said Latheefa.

However, she said, Anwar's family disputed the decision because no letter on the petition was sent to the family.

"The decision of the Pardons Board must be made by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and must be conveyed to the family.

"In this matter, the decision was made by the Pardons Board which referred to a rejection of the petition under Regulation 113 of the Prisons Regulations under the Prisons Act 1995.

"However, Anwar's family did not make the pardon application under Regulation 113 and hence the dispute, and because of this we continued submissions for leave for Anwar, who is the elected representative for Permatang Pauh, to attend Parliament.

"However, Judge Asmabi decided to dismiss the leave application and we will appeal today's decision," she said.

On Feb 10, the Federal Court dismissed an appeal by Anwar and upheld the conviction and five-year jail sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal that had overturned a High Court decision acquitting him of having sodomised Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan on June 26, 2008.


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