Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Anwar's release to be 'slightly' delayed

Anwar's release to be 'slightly' delayed

Malaysia's reformist icon Anwar Ibrahim has been freed from custody after receiving a royal pardon, paving the way for a political comeback following his alliance's stunning election victory.

The process of releasing Datuk Seri Anwar will be carried out at the Rehabilitation Hospital in Cheras here without requiring the de facto leader of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to be taken back to the Sungai Buloh Prison, the Bernama news agency reported.

Anwar emerged from the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital on Wednesday after Malaysia's Pardon Board, which included the current King, made a decision to overturn the 2015 conviction, which is widely accepted to be politically motivated. PKR party leader Mohamed Azmin Ali told reporters outside the hospital that Anwar and his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will go to the palace after that for an audience with the king, Sultan Muhammad V. The firebrand politician was convicted of sodomy a second time in 2015, this time as his opposition alliance was making gains on the long-ruling coalition.

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Anwar, 70, has been recovering from a shoulder injury in the hospital under police guard. He and his supporters have said the charges are politically motivated.

Malaysia's new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sought a pardon for Mr Anwar, which was granted on Wednesday morning.

A royal pardon would reverse Mr Anwar's conviction and make him eligible to actively participate in politics.

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Mr Mahathir has promised to step aside for Mr Anwar to become prime minister within two years.

It was a shared desire to remove scandal-ridden former-PM Najib Razak that forged the unlikely alliance between Anwar and Dr Mahathir, who came out of retirement to bring down his former protege.

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said earlier that Anwar is scheduled to hold a press conference at his home in Segambut at around 4pm.

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