The pardons board in Malaysia’s capital will meet on Wednesday to discuss the release of jailed reformist leader Anwar Ibrahim, the palace and his party have said.
Anwar, 70, is serving a second five-year jail term for sodomy, which is a crime in Malaysia. He and his supporters have said the charges are politically motivated.
A royal pardon would reverse Anwar’s conviction and make him eligible to actively participate in politics.
Several people in his People’s Justice Party (PKR) expect Anwar to walk free on Wednesday itself from the hospital where he been for the last few months recovering from a shoulder surgery. But there was no official confirmation of any possible date of release.
PKR allied with Malaysia’s 92-year-old leader Mahathir Mohamad to win a general election last week. Mahathir, who has been sworn in as prime minister for a second innings, had promised during the campaign to secure a pardon for Anwar and then step down and give him the prime minister’s post.