Annan welcomes release of Anwar Ibrahim from Malaysian jail

3 September 2004

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today hailed the decision of a Malaysian court to overturn the sodomy conviction of the country's former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and release him from jail.

Mr. Annan "warmly welcomes" the Malaysian Federal Court's move this week, his spokesman said in a statement, voicing hope Mr. Anwar's health will soon recover "by receiving long-awaited medical treatment."

Mr. Anwar is suffering from spinal problems and needs surgery, according to media reports.

The then Deputy Prime Minister - who was known to Mr. Annan because the two had official contact - was sacked in September 1998, subsequently convicted on separate corruption and sodomy charges, and jailed in 1999. Mr. Anwar is also trying to appeal his conviction on corruption charges.


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