Anwar Ibrahim A Free Man

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 (Bernama) – Anwar Ibrahim is today a free man after the Malaysia's King, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V granted him a full pardon.

The Pardons Board met Wednesday and decided on his case, according to a statement from Istana Negara.

The PKR de facto leader was serving a five-year jail term after being convicted of sodomy.

Sultan Muhammad V granted Anwar, his wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as well as party deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali an audience at Istana Negara at noon.

Anwar was earlier discharged from the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital, where he was warded to recover from a recent surgery, and went straight to Istana Negara for the special audience with the King.

Travelling in a convoy of cars escorted by policemen on motorcycles, Anwar arrived at Istana Negara at 11.50 am.

He had an audience for almost an hour with the King.

The release of Anwar Wednesday is all the more meaningful as it comes on the eve of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. His release from prison was one of the election promises of Pakatan Harapan, of which PKR is a component party, which became a reality just a week after the general election on May 9.

Malaysia was once again the focus of the local and foreign journalists at the hospital and palace to follow the developments on the release of the one-time deputy prime minister and finance minister.

Crowds of people, mainly Anwar supporters, had gathered outside Istana Negara.

Anwar had been serving a five-year jail sentence from February 2015 following his conviction for sodomy. He was originally scheduled for June 8.