The opposition leader and reformist icon Anwar Ibrahim has been issued a full royal pardon and released from detention with immediate effect in Malaysia, following a stunning election where the ruling party of six decades was thrown out at the ballot box.
Mr Anwar, 70, waved to supporters and media as he left hospital on Wednesday, where he was recovering from a minor surgery. He hadbeen serving his second stint in jail since 2015 on charges of sodomy, a conviction he says was politically motivated as he challenged the authority of now-ousted prime minister Najib Razak.
He is now expected to take over as the country’s prime minister from election victor Mahathir Mohamad. Mr Mahathir, who will soon turn 93, campaigned on the basis of releasing and empowering Mr Anwar, though the handover is unlikely to happen immediately.