KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 — PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be released from prison on June 8, two days ahead of schedule, said the Prisons Department today.
Its director-general, Datuk Sri Zulkifli Omar, said the accelerated release date was confirmed barring any intervention from higher authorities.
“The 2000 Prison Regulations (No. 28) states that if a prisoner's release date falls on a weekend or public holiday, they have to be released the day before,” he said.
“Because June 10 is a Sunday and June 9 is a Saturday, he (Anwar) will be released on Friday, June 8.”
Zulkifli earlier explained that the June 10 date was obtained based on calculations made in accordance with Section 44 of the Prison Act (1995) and Rule No. 43 (1)(a) of the Prisons Regulations.
Anwar was sentenced to his five-year sentence for sodomy in March 2014, after the Court of Appeal found him guilty of the offence.
The sentence was upheld by the Federal Court in 2015, but the Prison D-G said today that prisoners sentenced to over a month in prison are eligible to have their sentences remitted by a third under the Prisons Act once they have served the remainder.
Both the Prison Act and Prisons Regulations state that such remissions may be granted for good behaviour.
“Anwar's June 8 release date is also completely unrelated to the parole system or any order from the Pardons Board,” Zulkifli said.
Earlier this week, his wife and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said Anwar was scheduled to leave Sungai Buloh Prison on June 11.
This morning, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the federal government would not dispute Anwar's release, saying that the sentence term must be respected by everyone.
However, he said Anwar was not likely to play any formal role in the 14th general election that must be called by June 24 due to his disqualification.