Hearing of Anwar’s bid to strike out suit over legality of his royal pardon reset to March 18

by BERNAMA / Pic by ARIF KARTONO

The hearing of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s (picture) appeal against a High Court’s dismissal of his application to strike out a lawsuit over the legality of his royal pardon for his sodomy conviction has been brought forward to March 18.

This was confirmed by his lawyer J. Leela. The hearing was initially set on July 28.

The appeal came up before case management today. Lawyer Mohamad Farhan Kamarudin appeared for Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz, also a lawyer, who filed the lawsuit against Anwar.

Anwar’s appeal would 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 had locus standi to initiate the legal suit as he is a member of the public and a qualified person as lawyer.

Anwar filed the striking-out application 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 and named 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 in 2018.

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.