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MALAYSIAN NEWS : GENERAL 
November 11 , 1998 23:13PM 
 
COURT ORDERS DEFENCE TO STOP CONSPIRACY THEORY 
 
Fourth witness, Datuk Alias Ali, the Prime Minister's Department Deputy Secretary-General. 

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 (Bernama) -- The High Court here today ordered the defence in the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's corruption trial to stop harping on the conspiracy theory as it has no bearing to the current case involving the former Deputy Prime Minister. 

Judge Datuk S.Augustine Paul said the court had to reject the defence contention, commenting that "what is said sound more like a political speech". 

Anwar, 51, who is also former Finance Minister, is facing four counts of corrupt practice under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance No 22, 1970 that he had abused his power by urging police to get two people to retract sex accusations. 

Justice Augustine Paul made the ruling after Christopher Fernando, one of Anwar's nine-member defence team, told the court that the defence would prove to the court that there was a conspiracy to topple and destroy Anwar's political career. 

Fernando said: Part of the defence case is there is a conspiracy to bring about these (corruption) charges (against Anwar) and remove him from his positions that he held. 

He had brought up the conspiracy theory while cross-examining the prosecution's fourth witness, Datuk Alias Ali, the Prime Minister's Department Deputy Secretary-General, on the eighth day of the trial. 

Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Abdul Gani Patail: I gravely objected. The question is going out of the way and the defence is politicising this matter. 

Fernando: The defence of Datuk Seri is that there was a conspiracy, a political conspiracy to bring about the charges. We are saying these are "trump up charges" to remove Datuk Seri and destroy him. 

We are saying there's a conspiracy as to how these charges are brought about. We will endeavouer to show that the witnesses, "the crucial witnesses" for the prosecution will be giving perjured evidence. In other words, they are lying in court. 

Justice Augustine Paul: What you said sounds more like a political speech. It was addressed to the wrong forum. In rejecting Fernando's contention about the conspiracy theory, Justice Augustine Paul said: "I honestly do not think that it (conspiracy) has a bearing to this case." 

Alias, 50, said that Anwar had a "meteoric rise in climbing up the political ladder", becoming Deputy Prime Minister within 10 to 11 years after being appointed Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in 1982. 

Asked by Fernando if Anwar was a capable and responsible leader, he said: "From my observation, it would be acceptable to say that Datuk Seri was a capable and responsible leader". Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Abdul Gani Patail then stood up and indicated that he might bring up evidence of bad character under Section 54(i)(b) of the Evidence Act. 

Fernando: From your knowledge, Datuk Seri is affable, jovial, caring and also he's a humble person. Can you confirm that? 

Alias: It is difficult for me to say because my relationship with Datuk Seri is limited to official matters and related to Cabinet meetings. 

Earlier at the start of the trial, Judge Augustine Paul reminded Anwar not to make any more statements relating to his trial and that of his former tennis partner, Datuk S.Nallakaruppan, to the media. 

He told Raja Aziz Addruse, one of Anwar's nine counsel, to "advise your client, avoid making statements relating to the case because, sometimes, the way it was reported, make it more glamorous or sensational". 

He said this after Abdul Gani complained to the court about Anwar's statements during yesterday's 15-minute break in the morning sessions. 

The statement appeared in a local English newspaper titled "Anwar gets the message across despite clamp" which cited Anwar as telling reporters about the press reports on his trial and that of Nallakaruppan. 

The report also stated that Anwar then picked up a headline in a newspaper which read "Said: I Won't Lie" and said in jest: "He has given six versions already. I'm counting." 

Abdul Gani said the report also stated Anwar, while munching a wafer, said out aloud: "No eating in court, according to Justice Paul" and then smiled at some policemen, who appeared to be chewing gum. 

Justice Augustine Paul then said he never mentioned anything about eating or ever prohibited it and that Anwar could eat during recess but he was subjected to the Lock Up Rules as to whether it was allowed or not. 

"I think the second complaint (statement to the press) is more serious with regard to the trial. If he (Anwar) made the statement, it must be stopped," he said. 

Raja Aziz then told the court that he would indicate the matter to his client and the court then proceeded the cross-examination of the second witness, DSP Abdul Aziz Hussin, from the Police Special Branch. 

Abdul Aziz told the court during cross-examination by Sulaiman Abdullah that the writers of the two letters containing allegations of his sexual misconduct were arrested in an unusual manner. 

He said that the case of the arrests of Ummi Hafilda Ali, the sister of Anwar's former private secretary Mohamed Azmin Ali, and Azizan Abu Bakar, Anwar's former driver, was "very odd". 

"Throughout my career as an interrogation officer, I have never been involved in any arrest of targets before the interrogation process. It was conducted in an unusual manner and I followed the specific instructions of my superior ACP Mazlan Mohamed Din," he said. 

He said that he did not receive any background of the case or the background of the targets until Mazlan gave a briefing at around midnight. 

The seventh and last witness today, ACP Mazlan Mohamed Din of the Special Branch, said that the Inspector-General of Police was informed of the letter on Anwar's alleged misconduct and the "Solid Grip" operation in August last year. 

Mazlan said that he briefed the IGP on the letter and the related matters of the operation at a meeting at the IGP's office at about 9am on Aug 11, last year. 

The court was earlier told that the police conducted an operation codenamed "Solid Grip" pertaining to allegations of Anwar's sexual misconduct, in 1992. 

Mazlan said that after the briefing, the IGP instructed him to proceed with the investigations into the letter and wanted to know the extent of its circulation. 

"I reported to the IGP that ID14 (the letter) was not so widely circulated and informed him that the writer of the letter was in the process of trying to extend the copy to the Prime Minister," he said. 

Anwar, who is remanded at the Sungai Buloh Prisons, arrived at the courthouse at the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in Jalan Raja at 8.43am. 

The trial, which began on Nov 2, had attracted much public interest. About 25 members of the public, five of them observers including PAS Youth deputy chief Mahfuz Omar, were allowed in to follow today's proceedings. 

Today's hearing ended at 3.50pm and will continue at 9.15am tomorrow.-- BERNAMA  

 
 


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