might lie for Mahathir,
|November 05, 1998 at 1:25:48 PST
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysia's
intelligence chief testified today that he might lie
under oath if told to do so -- an acknowledgment
that sent a gasp through the courtroom at the
corruption and sexual misconduct trial of a former
deputy prime minister.
Defense attorneys were cross-examining Mohamed Said Awang a day after he testified that Anwar Ibrahim, while a government minister, had meddled with the police investigation into his alleged sexual misdeeds.
Christopher Fernando, one of Anwar's nine
attorneys, asked him: "If someone higher than the
deputy prime minister were to instruct you to come and lie to the court here, would you do it?"
Mohamed replied: "Depends on the situation."
High Court Judge Augustine Paul interjected,
looking somewhat alarmed, "So you may lie?"
"I may or I may not," said the 54-year-old witness,
who is on leave prior to his retirement from the
Special Branch intelligence unit.
"From your answer, you are a most unscrupulous
man," Fernando said.
Anwar, sacked as deputy prime minister and
finance minister Sept. 2, faces 10 counts of abuse of power and sexual misconduct. He denies the charges and says they were fabricated because Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad considered his popularity a threat to his 17-year rule.
Since Anwar's Sept. 20 arrest, tens of thousands of Malaysians have rallied for his release and
Mahathir's resignation. The case attracted attention from international human rights groups after Anwar arrived at his arraignment with a black eye and bruises. He claimed police beat him.
Mohamed testified Wednesday that Anwar, 51,
demanded intelligence officers intimidate two
people who had accused him of sexual misbehavior. He said the officers secured written retractions from both accusers.
Anwar's driver, Azizan Abu Bakar, had said Anwar sodomized him 15 times; Ummi Hafilda Ali, the sister of Anwar's private secretary, had claimed her brother's wife had sex with Anwar.
Throughout the trial, Anwar has spent most of his
time in the dock taking notes. Today, Anwar's
13-year-old son Mohamed Ihsan stroked his
father's hand while Anwar spoke with his wife,
The national news agency Bernama, meanwhile,
confirmed earlier reports that Mahathir is among 52 planned prosecution witnesses.
Others on the list are: Mahathir's chief economic
advisor, Daim Zainuddin; Malaysia's police chief,
Abdul Rahim Noor; former members of Anwar's
staff and 20 police officers.
Thu, 05 Nov 1998 23:40:32 +1100
Unscrupulous Mohd. Said Tripped Up in Fierce Cross Questioning
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