KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA, REUTERS) - Malaysia's jailed reformist Anwar Ibrahim will likely be freed by noon on Wednesday (May 16) after the Pardons Board in Kuala Lumpur meets on the same day to discuss his release.
The process of releasing Datuk Seri Anwar will be carried out at the Rehabilitation Hospital in Cheras without requiring the de facto leader of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to be taken back to the Sungai Buloh Prison, the Bernama news agency reported.
PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution said Mr Anwar is expected to be released after the Pardons Board meets at 11am on Wednesday to discuss the application for his release and full pardon.
"So, we expect (the release) will be at noon tomorrow before a gathering in the afternoon in Petaling Jaya," he told reporters after visiting Mr Anwar at the hospital on Tuesday.
Mr Anwar, 70, is serving a second five-year jail term for sodomy. He and his supporters have said the charges are politically motivated.
A royal pardon would reverse Mr Anwar's conviction and make him eligible to actively participate in politics. He has been in hospital for a few months recovering from a shoulder operation.
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 South-east Asian nation.
Dr Mahathir was sworn in as Prime Minister, making him the world's oldest democratically elected leader.
During the campaign, Dr Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years in a previous stint from 1981, promised to step aside and make Mr Anwar prime minister once he was pardoned.
On Monday, Datuk Ahmad Dahlan Ab Aziz, Comptroller of the Royal Household, said Malaysia's King Sultan Muhammad V had consented that all procedures regarding the Pardons Board proceedings on Mr Anwar be finalised on May 16.
Mr Anwar began his five-year jail sentence in February 2015 after the Federal Court upheld his guilty verdict on the charge of sodomising his former personal assistant.
Mr Anwar, who was serving his sentence at the Sungai Buloh Prison, had been scheduled to be freed on June 8.