Najib should be treated as guilty until appeals court decides, says Dr Mahathir
NAJIB Razak is being treated like an innocent person, when in fact the appeals court has not ruled on his appeal against his conviction and sentence for graft charges, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in his latest blog post today.
Despite being convicted, Najib not only remains free but is allowed his passport to travel, nothing like how Anwar Ibrahim was treated when he was charged and convicted, Dr Mahathir said.
“When a person is found guilty, he is guilty until the appeals court decides he is innocent. But the appeals court has not decided he is innocent. Therefore, he is guilty and he should serve his sentence. But he is treated like an innocent person, not paying his fine or jailed.
“As far as is known no other person has been treated this way. More than that he is now allowed to leave the country. Again, there is no such precedent anywhere,” the nonagenarian two-time prime minister said.
“While police broke Anwar’s door and arrested him, handcuffed and thrown into a police car to be detained before he was charged in court, Najib was never arrested or handcuffed or taken to a lockup in a police car.
“He goes to the court in his car and after the hearing he went home. Yet the charges against him are more serious.
“Even when he was found guilty and sentenced to 12 years’ jail and a fine of more than RM200 million, he has not paid his fine or been jailed simply because he had appealed his case.
“With Najib remaining free, it has allowed him to undermine the high court’s decision and inevitably undermine the whole institution. And given Najib’s sphere of influence, he is able to spread this mischief among his followers who are naive and gullible,” Dr Mahathir said.
He questioned the basis for giving these privileges to Najib, adding that the rule of law is not being applied equally.
“All these may be claimed as legal but they are not in accordance with the rule of law. No other convicted person in Malaysia has been treated the way Najib is being treated.”
Dr Mahathir said this showed that Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s administration is not adhering to the principle of equality before the law, and called on the government to explain.
The Court of Appeal is to deliver its ruling on Najib’s appeal against his conviction and sentence in the SRC International case on December 8.
Najib’s lawyers had applied for a postponement to after December 13 as Najib wanted enough time to return from Singapore to visit his daughter and fulfil mandatory quarantine upon return.
The appeals court, however, has rejected this request.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT