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, Anwar Ibrahim’s lead counsel, 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.
(Full text of Dr Munawar’s 7 November 1998 Affidavit can be read here).
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.
(Full text of Manjeet’s letter to the then Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah, dated 12 October 1998).
(Full text of Manjeet’s Affidavit signed on 9 November 1998, his sworn declaration to the entire episode).
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.
Fernando then read out the evidence of Jamal Abder Rahman who, on Monday, 3 April 2000, during the course of Anwar’s trial, testified as follows:
Fernando: Did you provide limousine services to Dato’ Seri Anwar?
Jamal: Yes, every time he visited Washington DC.
Fernando: Did you yourself drive these VIP’s around?
Fernando: In September, 1998 did you go to the Malaysian Embassy in Washington?
Jamal: Yes, I did.
Fernando: Did you meet a Malaysian diplomat by the name of Mustapha Ong?
Fernando: During that meeting what transpired?
Jamal: He asked me to go to New York for business.
Jamal: The following day, at 6.00 am.
Fernando: In your limousine?
Jamal: No, in my private car, a Cadillac.
Fernando: What transpired during the journey?
Jamal: We drove off and just before the Delaware Bridge, he asked me if Dato’ Seri Anwar had made any sexual passes at me. I told him, "You must be joking!" Then he said, "You can make some money."
He told me, "If you can say that he made sexual advances at you, we can make some money." I got very upset. Then he said, "Relax. Why don’t you say that you brought some girls and boys for him."
I said, "Look here Mr Ong, leave me alone; I don’t care about Malaysia, I don’t care about nobody right now. We are going to New York for business. Let’s finish the business and I don’t want to hear the subject no more!"
When we drove on New York, he tried to convince me further and in the meantime I was thinking to myself, do I know two Anwar Ibrahim? He (Ong) told me, "There is a videotape in Malaysia everybody by now knows Anwar Ibrahim from the videotape; why don’t you say so."
I said if you have a videotape, why the heck do you want me for?" He replied, "So that the Americans will know too!
When we arrived in New York, I dropped him off at a diplomat’s apartment. I think it was on the 13th street, East Side. The Malaysian diplomat came down holding a very small booklet and passed it on to Mustapha Ong and they were talking in Malay. I did not understand them. Ong put his hand on my shoulder, trying to convince me to spend the night there. I refused. I wanted to go back to Washington. Mustapha showed me the booklet and asked, "Why dont’t you sign this and we can make up to US$ 200,000. Don’t be crazy."
I said: "You are looking at the most crazy man in the world. That’s me." And I told him: "You change the name from Jamal to Mustapha Ong and say that Anwar Ibrahim made sexual passes ... made love to you. Say anything and you make the money!" I then said, "Have a good day!"
I left and went back to Washington DC ... straight. Then I went to see the Malaysian Ambassador, one Dato’ Dali.
I told Dato’ Dali what transpired during the journey. He was very upset. He said, "Jamal, I assure you I have nothing to do with it. The Embassy has nothing to do with it." And he was very upset; I could see the fire on his face. He said, "You should have slapped him on the face." I said, "I should have done that."
He told me to forget the whole thing. Three months passed and the whole thing kept coming to my mind. I wanted to get if off my chest. I went to see one Sheikh Thahar, a friend of Dato’ Seri Anwar.
He is the president of an Islamic University in Northern Virginia. Leaders from all over the world go to see him. He is a friend of Faruqi (a world-reknown Islamic scholar). I made three attempts to see him but was not successful. Then I made a phone call. I told him I wanted to see him. He said, "What for." I told him, with respect to Dato’ Seri Anwar. "How fast can you come?" he said.
Subsequently I drove down from Washington and met him at 2 pm. I told him what happened. He told me, "Why don’t you see the Malaysian Ambassador." I told him I had seen him (the Ambassador) three months previously. He said, "I will get in touch with you tomorrow". The next day, he phoned me and asked me if it was okay with me, I could make an affidavit before a lawyer about what happened.
Then I said to him, "What you want me to do, I will gladly do." I went with his son to see a lawyer and told the lawyer what happened and he wrote it down. The lawyer asked me if I was prepared to take a lie-detector test. I said, "If you want me to take a lie-detector test, I take a lie-detector test, if you want to put me to sleep I’ll go to sleep."
Fernando: Did you sign an affidavit?
Jamal: Yes. Then I left.
Fernando: Then what happened?
Jamal: I think Sheikh Thahar got in touch with somebody in Malaysia subsequently. Then Sheikh Thahar asked me, "Are you willing to go to Malaysia if you can." I said, " I am willing, if I can." Sheikh Thahar thought I was afraid. I said, " I am not afraid of anyone. I have fear only for God."
Fernando: Did Sheikh Thahar say anything about religion?
Jamal: He said, "If you shut out the truth, you are the devil’s brother!"
Fernando: Did Dato’ Seri Anwar make any passes at you or sodomise you at any time?
Jamal: No sir, he did not, he never did and never will!
Fernando: So this man wanted you to fabricate this evidence, did he not?
Jamal: I think so.
Fernando: On the way to New York from Washington, did Ong ask you to meet anybody or propose to meet anybody?
Jamal: Yes, he did.
Fernando: What did he say to you?
Jamal: He asked me to meet somebody from Abdullah Badawi’s staff so that I can collect the money but I refused.
Fernando: Why did he want you to see somebody from Abdullah Badawi’s staff?
Jamal: I understood, by that, if I say what they wanted me to say, I will get the money.