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A lawyer has challenged Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s recent statement on the royal pardon given by Sultan Muhammad V during his time as Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 2018. 

Rafique Rashid also shared a copy of what appeared to be Anwar’s order for immediate pardon and release, showing that the PKR president had applied for a pardon twice, in 2015 and 2017.

Both times, the applications were rejected by the Pardons Board. 

The Federal Court, in February 2015, upheld a Court of Appeal decision sentencing Anwar to five years in prison after finding him guilty of sodomy. 

According to the document, the Pardons Board meeting for the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya on March 16, 2015 and Feb 27, 2017 had considered the prisoner’s appeal and the facts of the case. 

The Pardons Board nevertheless advised that Anwar’s five-year prison term be continued. 

“And it is reasonable in His Majesty’s opinion that mercy should be shown to Anwar Ibrahim,” the document signed by then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said. 

It continued with the king’s order that Anwar be given a full pardon and considered as never having committed a wrongdoing, and immediately released. 

Rafique said the document showed that Anwar had applied for a pardon before, and that his request had been rejected. 

“Mr Prime Minister, please get the facts right,” he added. 

“The Pardons Board is under Article 42 of the Federal Constitution. In any event, it is crystal clear that you had twice, in 2015 then in 2017, tried to obtain your pardon unsuccessfully. Let the record speak for itself.”

He also said that the pardon appeal was only for Anwar’s second sodomy case and did not include the abuse of power case against him during his time as deputy prime minister in 1998. 

“That remains an offence of which a sentence was served and, in legal parlance, is known as spent.”

In the Dewan Rakyat today, Anwar said he had never applied for a pardon, and that he had received one on the initiative of Sultan Muhammad V.

He said Sultan Muhammad, who had actively followed the developments of his case, called him to tell him personally that he would grant him a full pardon. 

“I did not ask for a pardon because I was punished, let this be clear on the record,” he said. 

“It was the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the time who took the initiative.” 

Anwar asked for pardon twice, lawyer claims | MalaysiaNow

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