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MALAYSIAN NEWS : GENERAL 
November 10 , 1998 19:16PM 
 
UMMI HAFILDA CONVINCED OF THE TRUTH OF CONTENT OF LETTER SENT TO PM   click for next article
 
Ummi Hafilda Ali 

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 (Bernama) -- The writer of the letter, which contains allegations of misconduct of former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, sent to the Prime Minister, was convinced of the truth of its content and it was difficult to change her stand, the High Court here was told today. 

DSP Abdul Aziz Hussin, of the Police Special Branch, said that Ummi Hafilda Ali, the writer of the letter "Perihal Salahlaku Timbalan Perdana Menteri" (The matter of the misconduct of the deputy prime minister), was firm and was fully convinced of the truth of the content of the letter dated Aug 5, 1997 even after having undergone police interrogation. 

Testifying at the trial of Anwar who faces four charges of corrupt practice under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance No 22, 1970, he said the police felt that the information provided by Ummi Hafilda during the interrogation was rational, consistent and acceptable. 

He said that Ummi Hafilda was interrogated by him and his team from 11pm on Aug 17, last year until 3am the following day. 

Abdul Aziz, the second prosecution witness, continued his testimony from yesterday. 

He said that he was directed by Special Branch Director Datuk Mohamed Said Awang to interrogate Ummi Hafilda, the sister of Anwar's former private secretary, Mohamed Azmin Ali, and Anwar's former driver, Azizan Abu Bakar. 

Mohamed Said, the first prosecution witness, instructed him to "neutralise" Ummi Hafilda and Azizan pertaining to the letter written by Ummi Hafilda within 24 hours, he said. 

Abdul Aziz, whose duties at the Special Branch are to conduct interrogations, said that the instructions by Mohamed Said meant that he needed to "turn over" or change the stand of those interrogated. 

Yesterday, the court was told that the letter also contained allegations that Anwar had a homosexual relations with Azizan and an affair with Mohamed Azmin's wife, Shamsidar Taharin. 

Abdul Aziz said that he was to gather as much information as possible pertaining to the letter written by Ummi and the sworn statement made by Azizan. 

"When receiving the order, I knew that I was required to change Ummi Hafilda's and Azizan's stand so that they will retract all allegations of sexual misconduct of the deputy prime minister as contained in the letter," he said. 

He said that Special Branch Deputy Director 11 Datuk Amir Junus and ACP Mazlan Mohamed Din were also in the room when Mohamed Said gave the instructions. 

As soon as the instructions were given, he said, he proceeded with the process at the lounge of the Special Branch Deputy Director 1's office, assisted by three other officers including a woman constable. 

Abdul Aziz said that after four hours of interrogation, he informed Mohamed Said they were facing difficulty in changing Ummi Hafilda's stand as she continued to maintain her original stand. 

He also told Mohamed Said that from their assessment, the information given by Ummi Hafilda was rational, consistent and accepteble. 

He said Mohamed Said however requested him to continue with the process and he carried out the instructions. 

"After trying until 7am on Aug 18, 1997, Ummi Hafilda finally retracted all her earlier allegations. She was interogated non-stop," he said. 

Abdul Aziz said that they had succeeded through psychologial approach by putting fear in her including threatening to initiate action like detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the Sedition Act. 

"Fear was also instilled into Umi Hafilda of the possibility of retaliation from the person on whom allegations were made, who happened to be the Finance Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister," he said. 

He said that other approaches used were continuous interrogation to create an atmosphere as if physical torture would occur and coaxing, to confuse her. 

Abdul Aziz said that he informed Mohamed Said of their success three hours later and he later instructed him to hand over Ummi Hafilda to ASP Zulkifli Mohamed of the Criminal Investigation Department. 

He said that Mohamed Said summoned him back at 5pm the same day and instructed him to make Ummi Hafilda write a letter denying allegations contained in the letter. 

Earlier, he said that an intelligence statement had been taken from Ummi Hafilda for scrutiny but it was not done according to the Criminal Procedure Code. 

Abdul Aziz said that after receiving Mohamed Said's instructions, he met Ummi Hafilda again but she informed him that she was not prepared to put down her changed stand in writing as it was very difficult to change her stand just within 24 hours. 

"I continued to persuade and advise her and finally she agreed to write the letter of apology," he said. They then discussed the format of the letter to be sent to the Prime Minister. 

Abdul Aziz said that he handed over the letter written by Ummi Hafilda to Mohamed Said at 6pm the same day but he was not satisfied with the letter, saying it was "too flat and non-committal". 

He said that Mohamed Said then directed that another letter be written by Ummi Haflida but she should be more firm. 

Abdul Aziz said that he managed to get the second letter from Ummi Hafilda and the first letter was destroyed. 

"The gist of Ummi Hafilda's letter was, among others, all her allegations were based on unsubstantiated facts and she admitted her mistake for making the allegations that could result in libel and as such apologised for her transgression," he said. 

Abdul Aziz said that in his meeting with Amir at 8.30am on Aug 28, 1997, he was informed that Anwar who was then the Deputy Prime Minister was not satisfied with the letter, dated Aug 18, 1997. 

This evidence was objected to by defence counsel Gurbachan Singh but it was overruled. 

Abdul Aziz said that Amir instructed him to get back to Ummi Hafilda to obtain a general statement which was even more firm and committed, denying all earlier allegations. 

He said that at a meeting at a hotel room here on Aug 29, 1997, he and his interrogation team succeeded to obtain a new letter of denial from Ummi Hafilda after she was coaxed and advised for two hours. 

The letter was handed over to Mohamed Said and Amir, who still felt that the tone of the letter was still not firm enough, made several changes and instructed a new letter be typed, he said. 

Abdul Aziz said that the letter was then given to Ummi Hafilda who was still in the hotel room to sign. 

He said that she was very dissatisfied, saying it was not her original letter but after some persuasion, she signed the letter, after correcting the spelling of her name. 

After she had put down her signature, he asked Ummi Hafilda to copy the content of the letter in her own handwriting, he said. 

Since it was a general statement, he said, he and Mazlan who was with him then, asked Ummi Hafilda to prepare an attached letter addressed to Anwar and when ready, the letter was taken to Bukit Aman for Mohamed Said's action. 

Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor Azahar Mohamed, who conducted the prosecution at today's proceedings, then closed the prosecution's case. 

Abdul Aziz will be cross-examined by Anwar's defence counsel in the afternoon.-- BERNAMA  

 
 


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