KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – The pardons committee in the Malaysian capital will meet on Wednesday to discuss the release of imprisoned reform leader Anwar Ibrahim, the palace and its party said.
Anwar, 70, is serving a second five-year prison term for sodomy, which is a crime in Malaysia. He and his supporters have said that the charges are politically motivated.
A royal pardon would reverse Anwar's conviction and lead him to actively participate in politics.
Several people from his People's Justice Party (PKR) expect Anwar to be released on Wednesday even from the hospital where he has recovered from a shoulder operation in the last few months. But there was no official confirmation for a possible date of publication.
PKR teamed with 92-year-old leader Mahathir Mohamad to win an election last week. Mahathir, who was sworn in as prime minister for a second inning, had pledged during the campaign to secure a pardon for Anwar and then resign and give him the post of prime minister.
"All the documentation for the pardon petition is fine and complete," said PKR member Sivarasa Rasiah in a late Monday statement. "The Prime Minister has given his assurance that the meeting of the pardon committee will take place on Wednesday at 1
Mahathir vowed on Monday to investigate any mistakes that may have been made by the government of ousted prime minister Najib Razak and said all ministries had been instructed not to destroy any documents.
He announced that he would appoint a new head of the Anti-Corruption Commission and replace the Attorney General, who had caused Najib the misconduct of a $ 1 billion scandal related to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund.
The government has also transferred the top bureaucrat to the Ministry of Finance with immediate effect, while the chairman of the state-owned palm oil plantation agency Felda has resigned.
In 2015, news broke that some $ 700 million allegedly stolen by 1MDB had found its way into Najib's personal accounts. Najib said the down payment was a donation from an unnamed member of the Saudi royal family, most of which was returned.
Najib founded the 1MDB in 2009 and previously served as chairman of the advisory board. He and the Fund have denied wrongdoing.
Mahathir prevented Najib from leaving the country last weekend.
Writing and editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan