KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is serving a 12-year prison sentence, will be released earlier on Aug 23, 2028, after the Pardons Board decided to reduce his sentence by half.
The Pardons Board for the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya made the decision at its 61st meeting on Monday.
According to the statement issued by the Pardons Board Secretariat, the fine to be paid by Najib is also cut to RM50 million from RM210 million.
“After taking all views and advice into consideration, the Pardons Board has decided that the sentence and fine imposed on Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to be given a 50 percent reduction,” the statement said.
If Najib failed to pay the fine, he would have to serve another year in jail and the date of his release would be on Aug 23, 2029.
The statement also said that five pardon papers, including that of Najib’s, were deliberated by the Pardons Board during the meeting which was presided over by Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, whose reign as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong ended Tuesday.
Najib, 70, who has been serving the jail sentence at the Kajang Prison since Aug 23, 2022, after being convicted of misappropriating RM42 million SRC International funds, filed the petition for a royal pardon on Sept 2, 2022.
On July 28, 2020, the High Court sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and fined him RM210 million after finding him guilty of three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and one charge of abusing his position over SRC funds.
His appeal against his conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in 2021 and Aug 23 the following year by the Federal Court, leaving only a royal pardon as his last avenue for freedom.
Najib is currently being tried for alleged misappropriation of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds totalling RM2.3 billion.
The former Pekan Member of Parliament is also facing six charges of criminal breach of trust involving government funds of RM6.6 billion to pay International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC). The trial will begin in June this year.
Najib is also facing three charges of money laundering by accepting proceeds from unlawful activities amounting to RM27 million at the Kuala Lumpur High Court. The trial is set to begin on Sept 17.
On Jan 19, Judge K.Muniandy said if the prosecution is unable to proceed with their case on that day (Sept 17), the defence is at liberty to file for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) following the representation filed by Najib.