KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak was given permission by the Court of Appeal today for his passport to be temporarily returned to him so that he may travel to Singapore for the birth of his grandchild.
The three-judge bench, led by Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said, allowed Najib’s application, to which the prosecution did not object.
Other judges on the bench were Datuk P. Ravinthran and Datuk Abu Bakar Jais.
“Seeing as the reason given is also reasonable, the application to have the passport temporarily returned is allowed,” said Kamaludin.
Najib’s passport will be returned to him by October 20 and he is expected to travel to Singapore on November 3, which, according to his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, is the day after the Pekan MP debates the Budget 2022 tabling in Parliament.
As per his application, the Court also allowed Najib to return his passport on November 22, two days after his expected return from Singapore.
This means Najib will be able to accompany his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who last week was also granted temporary custody of her passport, to Singapore where their daughter Nooryana Najwa is due to give birth to her second child.
The prosecution was led by Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Fairuz Johari.
Earlier, when justifying the need for the passport’s return, Shafee told the Court that Najib plans to renew his passport as the document is nearing its expiration date, and to ensure the six-month buffer required for international travel is complied with.
He told the court that Najib is expected to return from the island nation on November 20 and promises to surrender the passport by the following Monday.
“The passport will be returned by an agent or representative, perhaps me or my assistant, as my client will be under quarantine and cannot come personally to return the passport,” Shafee said before the judges allowed the application.
In his application, Najib had sought permission to regain possession of his passport temporarily to tend to his daughter during her delivery in Singapore.
He had pointed out within his supporting affidavit that Nooryana does not have any other relatives whom she can rely on for support in Singapore besides her husband and their four-year old son.
Najib also mentioned that his daughter suffered serious complications and that the impending birth carries its own set of risks, stressing that he wanted to be present to give her moral support.
The appeal was made at the Court of Appeal as Najib is awaiting the decision of his appeal against his conviction and sentencing for the SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption case, for which the High Court had earlier found him guilty.
Najib would need to apply for the same permission from two more High Courts, where his other corruption and abuse of power trials are still ongoing, before he can make the trip to Singapore.