Anwar's family seeks royal pardon in last-ditch bid to save his MP seat

Madam Wan Azizah (centre), wife of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, attending her husband's court case against Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman in the Duta Court Complex at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Feb 17, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA 
Madam Wan Azizah (centre), wife of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, attending her husband's court case against Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman in the Duta Court Complex at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Feb 17, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA 

PETALING JAYA - Jailed Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's family has decided to seek a royal pardon over his sodomy conviction, in a last-ditch move to free the 67-year-old from jail and keep his parliamentary seat.

Anwar's second daughter Nurul Nuha said the family had submitted an appeal for a royal pardon, just hours before Anwar was due to be disqualified as a member of parliament on Tuesday, The Star reported.

"By virtue of Article 42 of the Federal Constitution, we hope that the Royal institution would in the name of justice based on all the facts grant an appeal," she said in a statement on Tuesday according to The Star.

"We also would pursue and exhaust all available recourse provided for a citizen in this country."

Anwar's eldest daughter Nurul Izzah told the Malay Mail she was in Parliament submitting an official letter on the royal pardon to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.

The Federal Court on Feb 10 dismissed Anwar's appeal against his conviction for sodomising a former aide and upheld his five-year jail term, which would cause him to miss the next general election due by 2018 and could well end his political career.

Anwar had 14 days to file a petition for pardon following the verdict.

But leaders of Anwar's Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) had initially denied that his family would seek a royal pardon as it would be tantamount to an admission of guilt.

When contacted, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil told The Star Online that despite Anwar's family seeking a pardon, an application for a review of the Federal Court's decision would go ahead as planned.