Monday, March 1

Hearing of Anwar’s appeal fixed for July 28 over challenge on legality of his pardon

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PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has fixed July 28 to hear Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal against a High Court’s dismissal of his bid to strike out a lawsuit filed by a lawyer over the legality of Anwar’s royal pardon for his sodomy conviction.

Anwar’s lawyer J. Leela, when contacted, confirmed that the hearing date has been rescheduled to July.

The appeal came up for case management yesterday before deputy registrar, Radzilawatee Abdul Rahman which was conducted via e-review.

The hearing of the appeal was initially fixed for Jan 11 but it was postponed.

Anwar’s appeal will be heard together with the Pardons Board’s appeal.

On Sept 21, last year, the High Court dismissed both Anwar and the Pardons Board’s applications to strike out the lawsuit, after finding that Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz had locus standi to initiate the legal suit as he is a member of the public and a qualified person as a lawyer.

The Port Dickson Member of Parliament (Anwar) filed the striking out application, among others, on grounds that Mohd Khairul Azam had no locus standi to file the originating summons and that it was frivolous, an embarrassment and abuse of the court process.

Mohd Khairul Azam, who filed the originating summons on Feb 26, last year, naming the Pardons Board and Anwar as respondents, claimed that several unconstitutional actions had been taken to ensure that Anwar received a pardon which released him from prison following the 14th General Election.

He claimed that the pardon granted to Anwar by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was in contravention of Articles 42 (4) and (5) of the Federal Constitution in view of the fact that pardons granted by the Agong should be based on the advice of the Pardons Board which he (Mohd Khairul Azam) argued had not yet been formally formed following the General Election on May 9, 2018 and the formation of the new government.

Anwar had been sentenced to five years’ jail for sodomising his aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, and the conviction and sentence were affirmed by the Federal Court on Feb 10, 2015. — Bernama