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 70-year-old Anwar was convicted of sodomy in 2015 in a case he said was aimed at crushing his alliance after making gains against Malaysia’s long-ruling coalition government. His sentence expires June 8 but the unexpected election win of his alliance led by former leader Mahathir Mohamad in May 9 polls led to his swift release.
Anwar waved to reporters as he was whisked from a hospital Wednesday where he was recovering from a shoulder surgery. Party spokesman Fahmi Fadzil says he has been pardoned by the king.
He is prime minister-in-waiting but unlikely to take over quickly from Mahathir.