Pardon disposed, Anwar to lose MP seat – MalaysiaKini

The Pardons Board has disposed the petition filed by Anwar Ibrahim’s family and the opposition leader will be disqualified as a member of parliament, said senior federal counsel Amarjeet Singh. MalaysiaKini reports:

However, Anwar’s lawyer N Surendran did not wish to comment on the decision pending   confirmation before the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

The decision was conveyed to Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Justice Asmabi Mohamad in chambers this morning, who later fixed next Wednesday for further confirmation.

Amarjeet told reporters later that the petition has been “disposed” and hence, the position of the constitution is clear on the matter.

He added that an affidavit by the director-general of the Legal Division of the Prime Minister’s Department, who is part of the Pardons Board secretariat, has been sent to Anwar’s family.

“Yes the petition has been heard and disposed off. The decision has been conveyed to them (Anwar’s) family in the form of an affidavit. They asked for time to verify the fact.

“The MP (position) ceases to exist, he becomes disqualified,” he said, adding that the judge granted the applicant time for confirmation and to seek instructions from the plaintiff.

However, Amarjeet, who heads the Attorney General’s Chambers civil division, said he would let the opposition leader’s lawyers confirm the matter.

The Pardons Board is chaired by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Other members include Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail and Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

With this decision, Anwar’s application to seek a pardon is expected to be rejected and the 67-year-old politician would have to serve his five-year sentence for a sodomy conviction.

This would also mean that his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat would be declared vacant, paving the way for a by-election.

Today was initially fixed for the hearing of leave (permission) to Anwar’s application for a judicial review to attend the current parliamentary sitting which ends on April 9.

Anwar had named Prisons Department director-general Zulkifli Omar and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as respondents.

The petition of appeal was submitted by Anwar’s family to the Pardons Board on Feb 24, 14 days after the opposition leader was convicted by the Federal Court.

Meanwhile, Surendran said they cannot confirm the matter as the family has yet to receive the letter and it was inappropriate for them to comment at this juncture.

“We only got to know this (decision), this morning from the senior federal counsel. Last Tuesday, the senior federal counsel sought more time to find out more from the Pardons Board whether a decision has been made,” he said.

Asked to comment whether Anwar could file another application for pardon, the lawyer said it was possible if there are “fresh circumstances”.

Responding to a question, another of Anwar’s lawyers, Latheefa Koya, agreed that normally the Pardons Board would take a long time to decide on applications.

“But this was so swift,” she added.