Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will not be released today (May 11) and it may take a few weeks before he can go home a free man.
“It is not happening today,” Anwar’s lawyer Sivarasa Rasiah told The Star.
He explained that Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Nurul Izzah Anwar’s visit to the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital this afternoon – where Anwar is being held – was just a normal family visit.
“The process for Anwar’s release and royal pardon has started. I think everyone involved will understand that it is urgent but it will still take a few weeks before Anwar will be released,” he added.
Word about Anwar’s supposed release started spreading after Sinar Harian and several local media quoted Nurul Izzah as saying that he would be released today.
This comes after newly-minted Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir said that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V had consented to granting Anwar a full and immediate pardon.
“We will go through the proper process of obtaining the pardon for Anwar. It’s going to be a full pardon,” he told a press conference after a Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting earlier in the day.
Dr Mahathir said that Pakatan would immediately begin the process of getting Anwar’s pardon formalised.
“The process is underway. That is what Dr Mahathir’s language is. The process is underway, but I think the question is how long.
“The misunderstanding is that Anwar is going to walk out of hospital today. That is a misunderstanding,”
“We would like Anwar to walk out of prison today. But if the legal process is to be followed, it will take a few weeks,” Sivarasa reiterated.
“Have clarified to Sinar (Harian) who misheard me – soon to be released.
“A matter of days, but how we wish it was today,” Nurul later told Malaysiakini.
Sinar Harian also reported that local and international media had started gathering since 12pm at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital, where Anwar is currently being held.
Meanwhile, Malaysiakini reported that Mahathir is expected to visit Anwar at the hospital.
Last night, a video of Anwar, dressed in hospital attire, watching Mahathir being sworn-in as the seventh prime minister, went viral on social media.
The assemblyman for Seberang Jaya, Penang Afif Bahardin posted photos of himself with Anwar and PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali at the hospital.