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Jailed Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim set to walk free

Jailed Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim set to walk free

"The pardons board has already met and the King has granted a full pardon, which means all past convictions have been expunged", lawyer Sivarasa Rasiah said.

"I am disappointed because I had hoped he could be prime minister as soon as possible", said Talib Ibrahim, an Anwar supporter outside the hospital.

Until his early release, he had been scheduled to be freed in early June.

Following the charge, Dr Mahathir sacked Anwar from Cabinet and it then triggered the formation of PKR and the reformasi movement.

Malaysia's jailed reformist Anwar Ibrahim will likely be freed by noon on Wednesday (May 16) after the Pardons Board in Kuala Lumpur meet on the same day to discuss his release. Party spokesman Fahmi Fadzil says he has been pardoned by the king.

In March 2014, Anwar was sentenced to another five-year jail term for a second sodomy charge. The pardon is necessary for Anwar to avoid a five-year ban on political activity.

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The 92-year-old former-PM was also the man responsible for putting Anwar in jail the first time around back in 1999 during Dr Mahathir's first stint in the prime minister's role between 1981 to 2003.

The volatile relationship between Mahathir and Anwar has dominated Malaysia's political landscape for over three decades and is central to the future of the alliance.

It was a shared desire to remove scandal-ridden former-PM Najib Razak that forged the unlikely alliance between Anwar and Dr Mahathir, who came out of retirement to bring down his former protege.

On Friday, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V had expressed his willingness to grant an immediate pardon to Anwar. Anwar's wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, endorsed Mahathir and served as his deputy in the coalition to oust Najib.

Mahathir told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday he would be in power for one to two years, before an expected handover to Anwar, who is due to be released on Wednesday. He was released from prison in 2004 and faced further allegations, charges, and appeals for years before being convicted in 2015 on what human rights groups consider to be a politically-motivated charge.