Anwar seeks review of rejected royal pardon petition

(From left) Anwar's daughter Nurul Nuha, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Anwar's lawyer N. Surendran after applying for a judicial review of Pardons Board decision to reject Anwar's royal pardon. ― Picture by Mayuri Mei Lin
(From left) Anwar's daughter Nurul Nuha, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Anwar's lawyer N. Surendran after applying for a judicial review of Pardons Board decision to reject Anwar's royal pardon. ― Picture by Mayuri Mei Lin

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 ― Jailed leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today filed a judicial review of the Pardons Board's rejection of his royal pardon petition, claiming there was conflict of interest in Attorney-General (AG) Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail’s presence during the board’s disposal of the application.

His lawyer N. Surendran said the judicial review seeks to have the boar reexamine Anwar's petition but without the presence of the AG, who his client deems to no longer be a neutral party.

“The AG is an interested party, he's been the subject of many of Anwar's police reports so how can he sit in any board that disposes of Anwar's rights?” Surendran said after filing for the judicial review at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.

He added that even former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had during his tenure said that the AG would not be involved in any proceedings involving Anwar due to the many reports lodged by the opposition leader against the country’s top lawyer.

“But now suddenly he's (AG) sitting in the Pardons Board deliberation, it's an inconsistent position,” Surendran said.

Lawyer Latheefa Koya added that Anwar’s family had never received a formal notification of the rejection of the royal pardon, which “creates suspicion” about the Pardons Board's proceedings.

“Until today, the so-called decision of the Pardons Board has never been communicated to the family or even to Anwar Ibrahim. How we got to know of the decision was indirectly through our application to secure Anwar Ibrahim's attendance to Parliament.

“The other thing is the decision was made on March 16 and that is the date when Anwar made the application to secure his attendance to Parliament, and the decision was only informed 10 days later on March 27 through that affidavit.

“All this creates suspicion as to what happens on the Pardons Board,” she said.

On February 24, Anwar’s family sent a request for a royal pardon on his conviction and avoid his disqualification from his Permatang Pauh seat. But on April 1, the government’s lawyers said that the Pardons Board had on March 16 rejected Anwar’s petition.

Following the decision by the Pardons Board, Anwar was disqualified as the Permatang Pauh MP, the seat which his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail later won in the March 8 by-election.

Anwar’s lawyers on April 30 also applied for a fresh Federal Court panel to review its February 10 decision to uphold a conviction and sentence him to five-years’ jail for sodomising his former political aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Later on June 10, Anwar’s lawyers filed an application to have the Federal Court hear retired senior police officer Datuk Ramli Yusuff’s testimony to the alleged conspiracy to cover up the infamous “Black Eye” incident during his detention before his first sodomy trial, or “Sodomy I.”

Anwar's legal counsel applied to have this case heard ahead of its review of Anwar’s conviction in his second sodomy case also referred to as “Sodomy II”.

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