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KUALA LUMPUR: A crucial witness is expected to file an affidavit to support Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s leave application to commence a judicial review to challenge the existence of an addendum decree purportedly ordered by the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the former prime minister to serve his remaining six-year imprisonment under house arrest.

During the hearing of the leave application scheduled today at the High Court here, Najib’s counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informed Justice Datuk Amarjeet Singh that the witness involved is currently observing the last ten days of Ramadan in Makkah.

“In lieu of my application today, I’m seeking a very short adjournment because, unfortunately, one person who is the most critical witness to the application has not signed the affidavit because the person has left for Makkah and is expected to be back after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

“This affidavit is critical, even at this stage. I just require a very short date, perhaps to a date I have consulted with my learned friend on April 17,” said Muhammad Shafee.

Senior Federal Counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly who appeared for the respondents did not object to the matter.

Justice Amarjeet then allowed the adjournment to April 17 and ordered the written submissions to be filed on April 15.

In the meantime, the judge also dismissed an application by counsel Abhilaash Subramaniam representing the Bar Council to follow the proceeding as a watching brief on grounds the leave has not yet been granted and at this stage it is still an ex-parte application.

When met by the reporters after the proceeding, Muhammad Shafee however refused to reveal the identity of the crucial witness to the application.

The former Pekan Member of Parliament filed the leave application to the High Court here on April 1 through Messrs Shafee & Co.

The applicant (Najib), named the Minister of Home Affairs; the Prisons Commissioner-General; the Attorney General; the Pardons Board for the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya; the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform); the Director-General of the Legal Affairs Division in the Prime Minister’s Department, and the Government of Malaysia as the first to seventh respondents.

In the application notice, Najib sought a mandamus order directing either all respondents or one of them to respond and verify the existence of the addendum decree dated Jan 29, 2024.

The applicant also sought a mandamus order that if the addendum decree exists, all or one of the respondents must enforce it immediately by transferring him from the Kajang Prison to his residence in Kuala Lumpur, to serve the remainder of his prison sentence under house arrest.

Najib, 70, is currently serving his sentence at Kajang Prison since Aug 23, 2022, after being convicted of misappropriating RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd.

He subsequently filed a petition for royal pardon on Sept 2, 2022.

The Pardons Board reduced Najib’s prison sentence from 12 years to six years, while the fine has been reduced from RM210 million to RM50 million.