Malaysian ex-PM seeks to finish jail term at home

Malaysian ex-PM seeks to finish jail term at home

Najib says house arrest was an option in original order that halved his corruption sentence

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, escorted by prison officers, waves to photographers after a court appearance in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 19 this year. (Photo: Reuters)
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, escorted by prison officers, waves to photographers after a court appearance in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 19 this year. (Photo: Reuters)

Imprisoned former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak is seeking court approval to serve the remainder of his jail sentence for corruption under house arrest.

Najib on Monday filed an application for a judicial review, stating that the country’s former king, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, had issued an addendum on Jan 29 allowing his prison sentence to be reduced to house arrest. This information was not made public at the time, according to Najib. 

A Pardons Board meeting that Sultan Abdullah chaired on that same date decided to halve Najib’s jail term to six years, the Malaysian government said in February.

It was one of the last acts by Sultan Abdullah, whose five-year reign under the country’s rotational monarchy ended in January.

Najib, who is serving a 12-year term, would be released in August 2028 and the fines imposed on him reduced to 50 million ringgit (US$10.6 million) from 210 million ringgit, the pardons board said in its ruling.

Najib was convicted of graft linked to the state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), from which US and Malaysian investigators estimate $4.5 billion was stolen and more than $1 billion channeled into accounts linked to the ex-premier.

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