Last edited: November 06, 2004

Police "Forced Anwar’s Brother to Invent and Memorise Gay Sex Stories"

Sri Lanka Daily News, July 5, 1999

KUALA LUMPUR, (AFP)—Police forced the adopted brother of ousted Malaysian deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim to invent and memorise stories that the pair had gay sex, he told a court Monday.

"They (the police) forced me to invent stories of my (alleged) homosexual relationship (with Anwar)," Sukma Darmawan told the court, where Anwar is on trial for sodomy.

"I invented the stories. They asked me to read it repeatedly until I memorised it. I was promised one day jail and a fine."

Sukma also said he wrote and signed a letter stating he would not ask for a retrial or secure the services of another lawyer before appearing in court on September 19.

"The contents are untrue. It (the letter) was prepared by Musa Hassan (the police officer in charge of Anwar’s case) but I signed it," he said. Sukma also told the court that a medical examination of his anus was painful.

"I felt three fingers at the entrance of my anus. The number of the fingers going in, I do not know. It was painful," he said.

The court was hearing testimony to decide if Sukma’s confession last year that he committed sodomy with Anwar can be admitted as evidence.

Sukma is jointly charged with Anwar, who is also accused of engaging in sodomy with his former driver, Azizan Abu Bakar.

Sukma was jailed for six months last September, along with Pakistani biologist Munawar Anees, for having unlawful sex with Anwar, but they later appealed the sentences saying police forced them to confess.

The trial is Anwar’s second: he was sacked from the government last September and sentenced to six years in jail in April for corruption.

Sodomy is illegal in Malaysia and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment.

Also on Monday the trial judge threatened Sukma’s defence lawyer with contempt of court.

"If you misbehave, I will (cite) you with contempt. Look here, if you want the trial to go smoothly, have decorum in my court," said Judge Arifin Jaka.

Judge Arifin told Govind Singh Deo to allow attorney-general Mohtar Abdullah to raise an objection.

"The attorney-general is making his objection," the judge said and instructed Govind to stop arguing with Mohtar.

The judge also ordered defence lawyers not to hold discussions with Anwar while the trial was continuing, after prosecutors complained.

Referring to a conversation between Anwar and one of his lawyers, Mohtar said: "I hear voices coming from the dock."

Judge Arifin then advised the defence and Anwar to maintain court etiquette.

Anwar stood and replied: "I am whispering (instructions) to my lawyer."

Seemingly annoyed with Anwar’s remark, Judge Arifin advised defence lawyers and Anwar not to disrupt proceedings.

"Please restrain. Take instructions only during recess," he said.

During the earlier corruption trial, one of Anwar’s lawyers, Zainur Zakaria, was held for contempt and a jail sentence imposed. But the sentence has been suspended pending an appeal.

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