A lawyer today failed to get permission from federal court to challenge the legality of the royal pardon granted to Anwar Ibrahim in 2018.
Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, who presided over a three-person jury in a unanimous decision, dismissed Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz’s requests for leave to appeal after stating that the matter was now academic.
“The Court of Appeals found that the Parolees Committee was properly constituted. We agree that the questions proposed by the applicant failed to meet the threshold requirements under Section 96(a) and (b) of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.
“The issue of non-justiciability has been resolved and this case does not justify any departure from precedent,” the chief justice said in announcing today’s decision in the online trial.
The other judges on the panel were federal judges Nallini Pathmanathan and Vernon Ong Lam Kiat.
On the advice of the Pardons Committee to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tengku Maimun said the Supreme Court found there was no basis for accepting any misrepresentation in the advice offered.
The chief justice said on the question of the conviction, the court found that the pardon document contained no reference to the fact that the conviction was overturned.
“There can be no question of the court assuming power. In conclusion, we note that matters have become academic. Both actions are therefore dismissed without a judgment on costs,” she said.
Tengku Maimun made the decision after hearing comments from Khairul’s lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, J Leela, who represented the prime minister, and senior federal prosecutor Suzana Atan, who worked for the Pardons Board.
On September 21, 2021, the Court of Appeal upheld appeals filed by Anwar and the Pardons Board of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur to drop the lawsuit filed against them by Khairul.
A three-person bench of the Court of Appeal, consisting of Justices Has Zanah Mehat, Indera Mohd Sofian Abd Razak and Lee Heng Cheong, ruled that Khairul did not have the right, the clemency and advice given to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the grant was to question the pardon given to Anwar.
On September 21, 2020, Anwar and the Pardons Board lost their application in the High Court to drop the case.
Khairul filed the original subpoena on February 26, 2020, naming the Parolees Board and Anwar as the accused, and alleging that several unconstitutional measures were taken to ensure Anwar received a pardon that released him from prison after the 14th general election .
He claimed that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s pardon of Anwar violated Article 42(4) and (5) of the Federal Constitution, since pardons by the Agong were to be made on the basis of the Pardons Committee’s opinion, which Khairul argued was according to the Parliamentary elections on May 9, 2018 and the formation of the new government has not yet been formally formed.
Anwar was sentenced to five years in prison for abusing his aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. The conviction and sentence were upheld by federal court on February 10, 2015.