I might lie for Mahathir,
Prosecution Witness Shocks Court

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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,
Azizah Ismail.

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.



Date: Thu, 05 Nov 1998 23:40:32 +1100
From: Chess <Chess123@hotmail.com>
Newsgroups: soc.culture.malaysia

Unscrupulous Mohd. Said Tripped Up in Fierce Cross Questioning
The prosecution's key witness in the trial of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Mohd Said, the former Head of the Police Special Branch astonished the
court when, under fierce cross-examining, he admitted that he would lie for Mahathir depending on the situation.

Mohd Said clarified on the fourth day of trial that he believed in the sexual allegations against Anwar after some confusion about this on the
previous day.

Anwar's lawyer, Fernando, next asked Said why he acted illegally i.e. by intimidating Ummi and Azizan to get retraction letters from them if he
believed the allegations were true. To this, Said replied that it was because of instructions from Anwar. This led Fernando to challenge him on his principles. Said had no way out except to admit that in some situations, he would compromise his principles. To say otherwise would be in contradiction to his admission that he had acted illegally for Anwar. Then the trap was sprung.

Fernando asked: "If someone else higher than the DPM (deputy prime minister) instructs you to come and lie in the court here, will you do

Said replied that he had never been asked to do such a thing but when forced to answer the question, he said: "It depends on the situation. I
may and I may not,"

At this point the presiding judge Augustine Paul intervened. "What are the instances when you have lied?" he asked. Said replied that he would
not know. Fernando then suggested that Said was a "most unscrupulous man."

Indeed, this clever line of questioning gave Mohd. Said no way out by casting doubt on his character. The rationale is that if Said were, by
self-admission, dishonest enough to act illegally for Anwar Ibrahim, then he too would be dishonest enough to act illegally for Mahathir by joining in a conspiracy against Anwar. And he admitted it too! Ha! Evidently something that the Attorney-General did not foresee. Even if Said had replied categorically that he would never lie for the Mahathir, Fernando would then have cast doubt on the truth of this assertion by asking:"Then why did you compromise your principles for the DPM?"

The case that there is a conspiracy against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim strengthens considerably in the minds of foreign observers.

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