February 26, 2015 by Suara Kebenaran
KUALA LUMPUR: Anwar Ibrahim and not his family should petition for a royal pardon.
“It should be signed by the person who is aggrieved by the decision of the court,” lawyer Jagjit Singh, 70, told The Malaysian Insider.
The petition will not carry weight if the Opposition leader Anwar had not personally signed it, explained Jagjit.
Jagjit has handled several applications to the Pardons Board, including that of former youth and sports minister Mokhtar Hashim who was convicted of murdering Gemencheh assemblyman Mohd Taha Talib in 1982. Mokhtar’s death sentence was commuted to a short jail term.
Anwar’s wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, and daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar, presented a petition for clemency to the palace on Tuesday, just before the 14-day deadline expired.
Earlier on Tuesday Anwar’s lawyer, N Surendran, said Anwar had decided not to seek a royal pardon.
But Nurul Izzah, PKR vice-president and Lembah Pantai MP, said the petition for pardon was made on the basis that her father’s conviction did not adhere to the principles of justice.
Parliament Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia had announced that Anwar remained a Member of Parliament pending a decision on his petition to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Jagjit said in all cases to the pardons board he had handled, his clients personally signed the letter for clemency by listing out the mitigating factors.
“In the eyes of the law, the applicant is guilty as charged with the offence. The board can only vary the sentence imposed by the court,” he said.
Anwar began his five-year jail term on February 10 after the Federal Court dismissed his appeal against the Court of Appeal’s conviction for sodomy with his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Jagjit said there was no time frame set for the pardons board to sit but it could be within six months after the formal representation was made.
The Agong chairs the pardons board with the prime minister, the attorney-general and two others as members.