Jailed Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim set to walk free

Jailed Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim set to walk free

Jailed Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim set to walk free

Anwar's release paved the way for him to return to politics, following a surprising election victory last week by his opposition political coalition, including Anwar's former foe Mahathir Mohamad, who was sworn in Thursday as Malaysia's new prime minister. He and his supporters have said the charges are politically motivated.

Party spokesman Fahmi Fadzil says he has been pardoned by the king. He was set to meet the king after leaving the hospital, and planned to speak to media in the afternoon. "There will be no special powers given except as are given to ministers or deputy ministers or deputy prime ministers", Mahathir said.

Jailed Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim Wednesday said his country was on the verge of a new "golden era", with the toppling of a corruption-riddled regime offering hope to people "clamouring for freedom" everywhere.

It was Anwar's second spell in prison. While in prison, he was reportedly beaten so bad that his shoulder sustained lasting injuries.

Anwar was initially scheduled to be released on June 10, 2018, after his five-year sentence that started on Feb 10, 2015 was reduced for good behaviour.

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Yesterday, Istana Negara Datuk Pengelola Bijaya Diraja Datuk Ahmad Dahlan Ab Aziz said Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V had consented that all procedures regarding the Pardons Board proceedings on Anwar be finalised tomorrow.

Mahathir, 92, had vowed to enable Anwar's release and eventually step aside for him to become the prime minister. Anwar needs to contest a by-election to become a member of Parliament before he can replace Mahathir. "So, we think in the short while, we will have a case against him and we will be able to charge [Najib]", Dr Mahathir added.

In July 2016, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a civil forfeiture suit to recover assets including a yacht, jewellery, paintings, real estate and movie rights amounting to US$3.5 billion, allegedly bought with stolen funds from 1MDB.

He said no final decision had been made on a Cabinet position.

Mahathir said after winning a parliamentary seat, Anwar could potentially be appointed to the Cabinet.

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The volatile relationship between Mahathir and Anwar has dominated Malaysia's political landscape for over three decades and is central to the future of the alliance.

Anwar, now 70, was granted a royal pardon over a sodomy conviction that saw him jailed for the past three years.

Mr Mahathir sacked Mr Anwar as his deputy in 1998 amid a dispute over the management of the Asian financial crisis. "If there is no case against him, we don't go for detention without trial".

Even while in jail, Anwar said he had detected growing outrage among Malaysians against Najib, who has been accused of involvement in plundering billions of dollars from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB. He has warned that Najib will have to "face the consequences" if found guilty of wrongdoing.

More news: Malaysian former deputy PM Anwar to be released on Wednesday

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