Witness in Anwar Trial Testifies
Associated Press, February 14, 2000
By Sean Yoong
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) A member of Malaysias ruling
party testified Monday in the sodomy trial of Anwar Ibrahim that the prosecutions
two key witnesses were "paid off" to fabricate lies about the former deputy
Raja Kamarudin Raja Abdul Wahid, who began his testimony on Friday, is the first
defense witness to corroborate Anwars repeated claims that the sex charges against
him are part of a political conspiracy.
According to Raja Kamarudin, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamads then-political
secretary admitted in 1998 to paying two witnesses to circulate sodomy allegations against
Raja Kamarudin told the court that Aziz Shamsuddin told him, "I have paid them
off. It is no problem. There is no use creating other types of stories. There would be no
thrill, no impact."
One of the witnesses, Ummi Hafilda Ali, wrote a letter to Mahathir in 1998 alleging
that Anwar committed adultery with her sister-in-law, whose husband was Anwars
secretary at the time.
The testimony came on the same day that Anwars attorneys confirmed Mahathir was
scheduled to appear on the witness stand Thursday.
"We still dont know if hell show up," defense lawyer Pawancheek
Merican told The Associated Press.
Much of the prosecution case hinges on Ummis credibility as a witness, because
she also encouraged Azizan Abu Bakar, Anwars former driver, to write a declaration
that Anwar repeatedly sodomized him.
Raja Kamarudin, then a local branch chief in Mahathirs United Malays National
Organization, said his job was to coordinate a propaganda team to spread the sodomy lies
nationwide, especially in rural areas where Anwar is popular.
Raja Kamarudin testified earlier that Aziz had revealed a conspiracy to destroy Anwar
and bolster then-Foreign Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as an eventual successor to
Abdullah became deputy prime minister after Mahathir sacked Anwar in September 1998,
calling him immoral and unfit to govern. Aziz today is the deputy education minister.
During Raja Kamarudins testimony, High Court Judge Ariffin Jaka several times
questioned the credibility of the witness.
"You better call the witnesses who are really involved in the conspiracy," he
said. "These are the fellows who should explain. It is very easy to allege
Defense attorney Gurbachan Singh replied: "It is not very easy to get those
Defense attorneys said Raja Kamarudin had come forward to testify because he was
"stricken by conscience."
[Home] [World] [Malaysia]