Ummi confesses to being the architect behind the Anwar sodomy allegation; a purely fabricated chargeDuring the earlier trial, it was revealed that the Special Branch tried to convince Anwar to “take action” but that Anwar refused, until pressed further by the Director who said it was “for the sake of national security” before Anwar agreed that action be taken.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
In a new twist to the Anwar Saga, it was revealed that Ummi Hafilda Ali was the architect behind the accusation that Anwar had sodomised Azizan Abu Bakar. And, for this, she was disowned by her father just months before he died of a broken heart.
Christopher Fernando told the Kuala Lumpur Appeal Court that Said Awang, the Director of the Special Branch, went to meet Azmin Ali, Ummi’s brother, who was then Anwar’s Chief Private Secretary, to solicit his (Azmin’s) assistance to persuade Ummi to retract the allegation that Anwar had sodomised Azizan.
What is most interesting by this revelation is that:
1. Said Awang went to meet Azmin BEFORE he met Anwar. Therefore, the allegation that Anwar had abused his position by summoning the Special Branch, and that he asked them to force Ummi and Azizan to withdraw the sodomy allegation, is a fallacy. In fact, it was not Anwar who summoned Said Awang to see him, but the Special Branch Director who took the initiative to meet Anwar.
2. The idea to persuade Ummi and Azizan to retract the sodomy allegation came from the Special Branch and not Anwar. During the earlier trial, it was revealed that the Special Branch tried to convince Anwar to “take action” but that Anwar refused, until pressed further by the Director who said it was “for the sake of national security” before Anwar agreed that action be taken.
3. The Special Branch was fully aware that it was Ummi who was behind the sodomy allegation and that Azizan was merely the instrument to the whole thing. That was why they wanted Azmin, her brother, to try to persuade Ummi to retract the allegation.
This sheds light on the previous day’s proceedings where Fernando revealed that Azizan testified three times, under oath, that Anwar never sodomised him – an admission that took even the trial judge aback.
Fernando related how Said went to meet Azmin to request a meeting with Anwar Ibrahim. In the meeting with Azmin, Said asked him whether Ummi is his sister and Azmin confirmed so.
Said Awang then asked Azmin whether he was able to persuade his sister to withdraw the sodomy allegation against Anwar but Azmin replied that would be impossible as he no longer talked to his sister since the allegation surfaced.
The Special Branch was aware that Ummi was behind the accusation and was, in fact, the plotter of the whole thing. And, the period when this discussion with Azmin was going on, the Special Branch had not met Anwar yet.
Azmin then called the family together to discuss the issue. In all, three meetings were held that included Ummi herself.
Ummi at first denied she had written the letter to the Prime Minister accusing Anwar of sodomy. Azmin then advised his sister to steer clear of the conspiracy, and that was when she admitted this would be impossible to do as she had been promised money and contracts for her role and, in fact, money had already changed hands.
Ummi later confessed to her father her involvement in the conspiracy and that it was actually she who had written the letter to the Prime Minister. The father, a religious teacher, then disowned her and, soon after, died of a broken heart, never forgiving his daughter for what she had done.
It was clear, from the testimony in court, that Azizan’s letter to the Prime Minister had been written by Ummi. Ummi had confessed to this. Azizan, in turn, during the course of the trial, admitted that Anwar did not sodomise him.
However, when the defence tried to bring up this very crucial bit of evidence during the trial, the trial judge disallowed it. The judge refused to allow the letter to be admitted as evidence or to allow Ummi to be called to court to testify.
Ummi’s role in this whole thing was clear and indisputable. The fact the sodomy accusation against Anwar was false was apparent. Just before he died, Ummi’s father wrote an open letter to Harakah, an opposition newspaper, explaining the whole matter and, in no uncertain terms, accused his daughter of involvement in the conspiracy to frame Anwar and of being the person who wrote the letter to the Prime Minister.
Had the judge allowed this crucial bit of evidence to be admitted, argued Fernando, it would have changed the entire complexion of the case and the judge would have been hard-pressed to find Anwar guilty.
Attempt after attempt was made to frame Anwar of sexual misconduct charges; and Pak Lah is involved too
“There was an evil plot to secure a conviction through devious means,” said Christopher Fernando on the second day of Anwar’s appeal hearing in the Kuala Lumpur Appeal Court.
Fernando then told the court that attempt after attempt was made to frame Anwar on sexual misconduct charges.
One such case was Dr. Munawar Ahmad Anees, then one of Anwar’s speech writers, who was arrested and subjected to physical and mental torture to force him to admit he had a homosexual relationship with Anwar.
Fernando then took the court through the lengthy Affidavit signed by Dr Munawar on 7 November 1998 that detailed the experience he went through at the hands of the Malaysian police.
The torture he endured finally broke him and he admitted to the ‘crime’, which he later retracted in his Affidavit.
Fernando then brought the court’s attention back to the Manjeet Singh Dhillon matter that was raised in court yesterday to emphasis his point of yet another attempt to frame Anwar.
At this point, Fernando called upon the court to recommend a Royal Commission of Inquiry be established to investigate Manjit Singh Dhillon's serious allegation against Abdul Gani Patail and Azhar Mohamad as this is a most serious matter affecting the administration of justice and the rule of law.
"If they are found not to be involved in extorting fabricated evidence, then their names will be cleared," said Fernando. "It will be to their benefit."
"If they are involved, then they ought to be brought to justice. That is the only way to resolve this pressing problem and to restore public confidence."
Clearly there was a concerted effort to frame Anwar. But these attempts were not confined to Malaysia. It also extended to the shores of the US as well, argued Fernando. One case in point was an incident involving Jamal Abder Rahman.
“We are trying to show a pattern, how witnesses were approached to give fabricated evidence and these efforts extended beyond the shores of Malaysia to the US,” said Fernando.Jamal is an American citizen of Arab descent who operates a limousine service in Washington DC and had a contract to provide limousine services to the Malaysian Embassy in Washington.
In September 1998, soon after Anwar’s dismissal and subsequent arrest, a Malaysian Diplomat, Mustapha Ong, asked Jamal to declare that he had procured women and young boys for Anwar.