High Court Denies Leave For Anwar To Challenge Pardons Board’s Decision

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jul 15 – The High Court today denied leave for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his family members to commence a judicial review application to quash the Pardons Board’s dismissal of his petition for a royal pardon over his sodomy conviction. 

Judge Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin, who made the ruling in chambers, also rejected Anwar’s application to refer a question of law to the Federal Court over the process taken in the Pardons Board’s decision. Anwar’s counsel N.Surendran told reporters that the judge made the decision after allowing a preliminary objection raised by the three respondents, namely the Pardons Board, the Attorney-General and the Malaysian government against the leave application.

On June 24 last year, the former opposition leader, his wife Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and daughters Nurul Izzah and Nurul Nuha filed the application against the three. In the application, they sought an order to quash the decision of the board on March 16, 2015, and to compel it to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to pardon and release Anwar, 69. 

They also sought a mandamus order to compel the board to re-convene a meeting and to consider all materials relating to the petition for a royal pardon submitted by Anwar’s family members and to give appropriate advice to the King. Anwar, in his affidavit to support the application, claimed that the decision by the board was arrived at in breach of the rules of natural justice and was therefore void. 

Anwar contended that the board’s decision was never communicated in written form to himself or his family members who had submitted the petition. He claimed that the decision was also tainted and vitiated as the AG then was an interested person with a long-standing animus against him. 

Anwar said the AG deliberated at the meeting with the board on March 16 last year and this was confirmed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri in a written reply in the Dewan Rakyat. Anwar is serving a five-year jail term at the Sungai Buloh Prison after the Federal Court on Feb 10, 2015, upheld his conviction and sentence for sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, in 2008. — Bernama

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