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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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".
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.
ended at 3.50pm and will continue at 9.15am tomorrow.-- BERNAMA