Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim freed from jail

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim freed from jail

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.

Mr Anwar, 70, was released from custody at Cheras Rehabilitation Centre in Kuala Lumpur, where he was recovering from a shoulder injury.

Sivarasa Rasiah, a central committee member of the People's Justice Party, said the Royal Pardon Board "has already met and the (king) has ordered a full pardon for Anwar Ibrahim".

"Even though it has been agreed, the Pardons Board meeting may be slightly delayed because we want to follow the rules".

That conviction is viewed by many in Malaysia as politically motivated, orchestrated by the previous government in a bid to decapitate Anwar's rising opposition movement.

The Pakatan Harapan, a four-party alliance driven by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Mr Anwar won the general election last week, ousting the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition for the first time in the history of the Southeast Asian nation.

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Anwar began serving a five-year jail sentence in February 2015 after the Federal Court upheld his conviction and sentence on a charge of having sodomised a former personal aide.

"As such, any programme relating to the release of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be postponed until further announcement", said Fahmi.

Anwar and his supporters have long denied the sodomy allegations, saying they were concocted to crush him and his political allies.

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

In "an initial stage, maybe lasting one or two years, I will be the prime minister", Mahathir said, speaking by live video link from Kuala Lumpur to a Wall Street Journal CEO conference in Tokyo on Tuesday.

"The Anwar and Mahathir relationship will be a challenge to navigate as trust, ambition and priorities will be likely problem areas", said Welsh, a Southeast Asia expert who was in Malaysia to monitor the polls.

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