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Pardons Board decides on Anwar's petition: lawyer

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 (Bernama) -- The Pardons Board has made a decision on the petition for a royal pardon by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who has been convicted for sodomy, and an announcement will be made on Wednesday, according to Anwar's lawyer.

N. Surendran told reporters the announcement would be made when the High Court hears Anwar's application for leave to challenge the decision of the Commissioner-General of Prisons barring him from attending the Dewan Rakyat.

The lawyer, along with Senior Federal Counsel Amarjeet Singh who represented the Home Minister and the Commissioner-General of Prisons, had met with Judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad in chambers.

"The decision has been made, as informed by the federal counsel (in chambers). The court set Wednesday to confirm the status of the pardon petition," Surendran said.

Meanwhile, Amarjeet Singh said Surendran had asked for time to verify facts in the affidavit affirmed by the Director-General of the Legal Affairs Department, who is the Secretariat of the Pardons Board.

"They asked for time. Once a decision is made, the constitution speaks for itself. Member of Parliament becomes disqualified; judge allowing them time to verify," he said.

Anwar, the MP for Permatang Pauh, filed the application on March 18 and named the Home Minister and the Commissioner General of Prisons as the first and second respondents, respectively.

Via a supporting affidavit, Anwar, 67, who is serving the five-year jail sentence at the Sungai Buloh Prison, claimed that he was still a member of the Dewan Rakyat and the Opposition Leader as the petition for a royal pardon to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had yet to be disposed of.

He submitted the application for the royal pardon on Feb 24 after the Federal Court upheld his five-year jail sentence for having sodomised his former personal aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Anwar claimed that the decision of the two respondents in not allowing him to attend the Dewan Rakyat sitting was unconstitutional, invalid and void.

Anwar is seeking an order for the decision of the Commissioner-General of Prisons dated March 4 to be transferred to the High Court and revoked under a certiorari order.

He is also seeking a mandamus order requiring the Commissioner-General of Prisons to allow him to attend Dewan Rakyat sittings and a declaration that he had the right to attend the sittings.

 

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