Malaysia’s An­war Ibrahim re­leased af­ter full par­don

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page -

THE JAILED Malaysian politi­cian An­war Ibrahim was re­leased from prison yes­ter­day af­ter be­ing of­fi­cially par­doned. Walk­ing free from a hospi­tal in Kuala Lumpur, An­war said he would support the government led by his ally-turned­foe-turned-ally Ma­hathir Mo­hamad.

JAILED Malaysian re­formist An­war Ibrahim was granted a full par­don yes­ter­day and walked free from a hospi­tal in Kuala Lumpur, cap­ping dra­matic changes in the South­east Asian coun­try since the government was ousted in an elec­tion up­set last week.

An­war, 70, smiled and waved to sup­port­ers as he walked out of hospi­tal, dressed in a black suit and tie and his hair neatly swept back. He was sur­rounded by his fam­ily, lawyers and prison guards be­fore driv­ing to the palace for an au­di­ence with King Sul­tan Muham­mad V.

“Now there is a new dawn for Malaysia. I must thank the peo­ple of Malaysia,” An­war said. “The en­tire spec­trum of Malaysians, re­gard­less of race or re­li­gion, have stood by the prin­ci­ples of democ­racy and free­dom. They de­mand change.”

Sup­port­ers chanted “Re­for­masi” (Re­form), the move­ment he launched two decades ago to chal­lenge di­verse Malaysia’s race- and pa­tron­age-based pol­i­tics.

An­war has served three years of a fiveyear term for sodomy, a charge he says was trumped up by the government of ousted Prime Min­is­ter Najb Razak.

Fol­low­ing his re­lease, An­war said he would give full support to the government led by his ally-turned-foe-turned-ally Ma­hathir Mo­hamad, but would not im­me­di­ately be part of it.

An­war had been re­cov­er­ing from a shoul­der in­jury in hospi­tal un­der po­lice guard. He was Ma­hathir’s deputy in the 1990s but fell out with his men­tor dur­ing the Asian fi­nan­cial cri­sis. He was sacked from the rul­ing party and founded the Re­for­masi move­ment, chal­leng­ing Ma­hathir’s government. He was later ar­rested and jailed on charges of sodomy and cor­rup­tion. Im­ages at the time of a goa­teed, be­spec­ta­cled An­war in court with a black eye and bruises brought con­dem­na­tion of Ma­hathir from around the world.

An­war’s trial be­came a spec­ta­cle, with prose­cu­tors at one stage bring­ing out what they said was a se­men-stained mat­tress al­legedly used when he had sex with two male aides. Af­ter be­ing freed, An­war was jailed a sec­ond time for sodomy in 2015. Both times, he and his sup­port­ers have said the charges were po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated. The par­don, granted on the grounds that there was a mis­car­riage of jus­tice, al­lows An­war to re-en­ter pol­i­tics im­me­di­ately.

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