KUALA LUMPUR – A Supreme Court ruling which could see imprisoned Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim set free was postponed to an indefinite date Wednesday.
A five-member panel adjourned Ibrahim’s judicial case review after listening to both defense and prosecution arguments since 9 a.m. (0100GMT) to a later date.
Anwar — de-facto leader of the Peoples Justice Party (PKR) and a former deputy premier — was present in the court among tight security.
When asked to comment on the adjournment, Ibrahim’s wife, PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, said family and supporters should wait for a final court decision.
The decision is Anwar’s last chance to have a five-year prison term for sodomy overturned.
“We will continue to push for an earlier Federal Court decision and we can’t comment until the decision comes,” Wan Azizah — the country’s parliamentary opposition leader — told Anadolu Agency in a telephone conversation.
Anwar’s daughter and federal lawmaker Nurul Izzah Anwar meanwhile asked supporters and well-wishers to remain calm until the final decision.
“Don’t stop pressuring the judiciary body to release my father. But let’s not decide anything until the honorable court delivers its final verdict,” she told some 500 people gathered outside the courthouse in the administrative capital Putrajaya.
On Feb. 10 last year, the apex court upheld the then 68-year-old’s conviction and five-year jail term for sodomizing former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.
Anwar and his supporters have claimed the charge has been fabricated to remove him from politics.
On March 16 last year, the country’s royal pardon board rejected a petition by Ibrahim’s family for him to be pardoned.
Anwar, Wan Azizah and their children then filed the judicial review application June 24, last year. – Anadolu Agency