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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s family members are currently seeking a royal pardon for his sodomy conviction, despite an initial denial from the opposition leader’s lawyers.
Malay Mail Online understands that Anwar’s wife, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Azizah and his second daughter Nurul Nuha Anwar are currently at the Istana Negara to submit the application for the royal pardon that could free the Penangite from his Sungai Buloh cell and allow him to retain his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat.
“We are seeking a royal pardon on behalf of our father.
“There is a precedence for this,” Anwar’s eldest daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar told Malay Mail Online when contacted, pointing to DAP’s father-and-son duo Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng had also similarly applied for a royal pardon when they were in prison previously.
Nurul Izzah said she is currently in Parliament submitting an official letter on the royal pardon to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.
Nurul Nuha confirmed to Malay Mail Online that the request for a royal pardon had been submitted.
“An appeal for a royal pardon has been submitted. The courts may have pronounced a guilty verdict but our father, and we as a family continue to state that he is innocent.
“By virtue of Article 42 of the Federal Constitution, we hope that the Royal institution would in the name of justice based on all the facts grant an appeal,” she said in a statement, adding that the family would continue to pursue and exhaust all available legal means to free Anwar.
Yesterday was the deadline for Anwar to file a petition for a royal pardon, which would have delayed his disqualification resulting from his five-year sentence on February 10 that is effective today.
Sivarasa Rasiah, who is one of Anwar’s defence lawyers, said yesterday they will instead apply for a review of the decision under Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules as a judicial review is not possible for a criminal conviction.
Parliament Speaker Pandikar previously said Anwar will only be barred from being a federal lawmaker 14 days from February 10, based on Article 48 Clause 4 (a) of the Federal Constitution.
On February 10, the Federal Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s 2014 ruling that reversed Anwar’s acquittal of sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, and sentenced the Permatang Pauh lawmaker to five years’ jail.