Jailed Malaysian politician gets royal pardon

May 12, 2018, 07:58 IST | Agencies

It was the latest dramatic development after Mahathir Mohamad's alliance inflicted a shock defeat on the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition

Mahathir with Malaysia's King Muhammad V
Mahathir with Malaysia's King Muhammad V

Malaysia's king has agreed to pardon Anwar Ibrahim immediately, the country's newly installed prime minister said yesterday, paving the way for the jailed leader to return to politics and potentially become premier.

It was the latest dramatic development after Mahathir Mohamad's alliance inflicted a shock defeat on the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, ending the corruption-riddled regime's six-decade stranglehold on power.

Anwar Ibrahim. Pics/AFP
Anwar Ibrahim. Pics/AFP

One of Malaysia's most charismatic politicians, Anwar was heir-apparent to the premiership until Mahathir sacked him in 1998. But in a remarkable turnaround, the pair reconciled and joined forces as allegations mounted over 1MDB and Najib Razak became increasingly authoritarian.

Anwar's convictions and acquittals
* Anwar was jailed in 1998 for abuse of power.
* In 2000 he was convicted of sodomy.
* In 2004 he was acquitted. He led the opposition to unprecedented gains in the 2008 and 2013 elections.
* In 2014, the acquittal was itself overturned and was sent back to jail.

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