Mark Twain once said, “Always tell the truth. That way, you don't have to remember what you said.”
A truthful account of events does not need any scheming, planning or coordinating to make the details logical and consistent. It does not care for unexpected events, unknown circumstances and unexpected witnesses getting in the way because they will all automatically validate each other. Truth has a beauty and simplicity which does not require anybody to make improbable assumptions, illogical explanations and unlikely postulations of human behaviour to fit the narrative.
Conspirators can try to fabricate imaginary events and cover up the truth with lies and deceit but the truth will eventually come out like water dribbling out of a leaky container. Small details which do not fit get in the way like jagged edges which rip the story apart. Lies may need more lies to cover up the holes that appear under examination but more lies may punch more holes in the framework until the whole thing collapses and the deception is exposed.
In Saiful’s allegation of sodomy against Anwar Ibrahim, so many contradictions and gaping holes have appeared in his story that it has all but fallen apart. No reasonable person will believe that the alleged act actually happened in the face of such contradictions and illogical explanations bordering on the bizarre and the ludicrous.
A contradictory charge
In the first place the charge itself is a serious contradiction to the star witness’s public insistence that he was sodomized against his will.
So why was Anwar charged for consensual sodomy under Section 377B when it should have been Section 377C for non-consensual sodomy? This is not a matter of the Attorney-General’s prerogative to prefer a charge which carries a lighter sentence as claimed by the prosecution.
Whether there was consent or not changes the whole nature of the act and the thrust of the prosecution. In 377C the prosecution must prove force was used, in 377B it need not. In forced sodomy the prosecution has a co-operative witness to testify against the accused, in consensual sodomy it must find other ways. In real life one does not the luxury of a co-operative witness AND not having to prove force which is clearly a distortion of the truth and prejudicial to the defense.
Naturally the prosecution would rather not take up the daunting task of proving how a frail 62 year old man with a bad back can forcibly sodomize a lad bigger and stronger than him. But now we have a case in which the charge does not tally with what the accuser claimed happened.
In any healthy judiciary the case would be thrown out of court based on this crucial contradiction but we do not have a healthy judiciary.
If indeed the act was consensual why mobilize the whole apparatus of state to investigate and prosecute Anwar with countless manhours and millions spent when the act was allegedly between two consenting adults? Why such ferocious effort when has the government shown no interest in prosecuting anybody else for consensual sodomy despite a thriving gay community?
Saiful’s contradictory behaviour
Saiful claimed to have been sodomized a total of eight times against his will over a period of months so why didn’t he report to the police the first time it happened? We know that he is not gay as he has a fiancé and being sodomized must be downright humiliating and disgusting so it is incredulous to think that he did nothing but tolerated the act.
Bearing in mind that Anwar is physically no match for him and as an opposition leader has no power to put him in any fear, Saiful’s claim of being sodomized multiple times is a serious contradiction to his public stance that the act was non-consensual.
After the last alleged incident in the condominium, Saiful waited for two days before making a police report. He went to work as usual the next day and in the evening attended a function in Anwar’s house where he served drinks to the guests. The next day he sent a cheerful quit e-mail to Anwar.
By no stretch of the imagination is this the behaviour of a person who has been forcibly sodomized against his will.
Saiful’s public insistence of non-consensual sodomy goes beyond the material contradiction in the charge preferred against Anwar.
He had sworn this on the Koran in a mosque during the Permatang Pauh by-election campaign under the glare of the press and TV cameras and allowed BN to make political capital of this against Anwar. If we believe his claim in court that he had no political motive we have to admit that he must be the most publicity hungry rape victim in the world bar none, male or female.
Although Saiful’s response to the supposedly non-consensual acts is bewildering and abnormal, details of the persons he met prior to making his police report would blow any doubts of a political conspiracy away.
Saiful has admitted in court that he met Najib Razak who was the deputy prime minister at that time two days before the last alleged act to discuss his problem. For an ordinary citizen to be able to gain access to the second most powerful person in the country is highly suspicious but what he told the court of the DPM’s response is even more unbelievable. According to Saiful, Najib said his problem with Anwar is a personal matter and he could not do anything.
We are asked to believe that Najib passed over the opportunity to capture and destroy his greatest political nemesis over a criminal act. Bearing in mind that Section 13 of the Criminal Procedure Code states that it is an offence for anyone to withhold information and not to make a police report if they know a crime has been committed this would mean that Najib knowingly abetted a crime.
Saiful also admitted that he met a high ranking police officer, SAC Rodwan in the Concord Hotel Shah Alam a day before the last alleged sodomy act. Prior to this he had talked to Rodwan on the phone at least 8 times.
Rodwan is well known for his dubious role in spiking a mattress with Anwar’s blood sample in sodomy I. Furthermore, Saiful has also talked to the IGP Musa Hassan at least once over the phone.
Why would a meeting with a police officer ostensibly to discuss his sodomy problem be held in a hotel room if not to keep it secret? Why the need for such secrecy if not to discuss something shifty? Why did the police fail to set a trap for Anwar to catch him red handed and with video recordings “Chua Soi Lek style” if indeed the sodomy claims were true? The reason why such a trap was never set up was because no sodomy ever took place.
Saiful also said that he met Ezam, political turncoat who betrayed Anwar’s trust and Mumtaz, an aide of Rosmah Mansor, Najib’s wife and both of them advised him against lodging a police report. We don’t know which is more incredulous – that he shared his humiliating problem with people whom he has no close personal relationship with or that they advised him not to make a police report.
Saiful’s court testimony
Saiful testified in court that he was propositioned indecently by Anwar in a condominium in Kuala Lumpur and he was shocked, horrified and disgusted by Anwar’s direct advance.
Let us pause a minute here. This is a man who claimed to have been sodomized no less than seven (7) times before all over Asia so why the shock, horror and disgust? The details do not match the alleged circumstances.
Even more telling is his description of what happened later. After his supposedly “shock, horror and disgust,” he took a shower, emerged with a towel and lay down on the bed after which Anwar pulled the curtains, switched off the lights and the alleged non-consensual act took place. Surely this is stretching the definition of non-consensual too far?
Saiful also claimed that he did not wash his anus and did not pass motion for 2 days to preserve the evidence. If he had wanted to nail Anwar why didn’t he go immediately to the police instead of engaging in such heroics for 2 days before making a report?
Saiful’s claim that Anwar was his idol is contrary to his college mates who said he was known to be very pro-BN and anti-Anwar. In an interview which was recorded on video, one college mate said that when he heard that Saiful has taken a job in Anwar’s office he assumed that Saiful’s intention was to do something bad to Anwar.
Prosecution or Persecution?
In sexual offences of this nature the primary fact to be established first is medical evidence of penetration. No prosecutors in any healthy, functioning democracy will bring such a case to court without supportive medical evidence.
Here we have this dubious case rammed to trial despite two independent medical reports certifying that there was no evidence of penetration which shows clearly that this is no ordinary case of a victim seeking justice.
The prosecution has also fought tooth and nail to transfer this case from the Sessions Court to the High Court despite the lower court being qualified to hear the case. If they have any real evidence they could have convicted Anwar in any court instead of behaving as if their whole case depends on who hears it.
Why did the prosecution refuse to give the witness list, witness statements and details of any evidence beneficial to the defense as required under the Criminal Procedure Code, even fighting all the way to the Federal Court? This appears to be a trial by ambush with the flexibility to change the details as required to suit the ongoing trial.
The only physical evidence possessed by the prosecutors appears to be Anwar’s DNA sample allegedly extracted from Saiful’s rectum. As doctors have found no evidence of penetration how can this be possible?
Let us reflect a moment on this. Without penetration there can be no incriminating DNA extracted from Saiful’s rectum. So either two independent medical reports were false or the so-called evidence was cooked. The first medical report was done by a highly experienced expatriate Burmese doctor who examined Saiful without knowing beforehand the political circumstances of the case. The second medical report was prepared by three specialists at a government hospital (HKL) who confirmed the first doctor’s finding.
Meanwhile the investigation and prosecution is under the control of a government known to be authoritarian and economical with the truth with an arrogant attitude of might makes right. Malaysians will remember the shameful spectacle of sodomy I and the conviction of Anwar in 1998 by a kangaroo court.
Many of the actors in sodomy I such as Gani Patail (chief public prosecutor in sodomy I, now Attorney-General), Musa Hassan (chief of police investigation team and mattress carrier in sodomy I, now IGP) and SAC Rodwan (DNA evidence fabricator in sodomy I, now highest ranking police officer in Melaka) are also playing starring roles in sodomy II.
Against this background the reader should decide who is more trustworthy – the four doctors or the prosecutors?
Lies and liars
All that has transpired so far points to a sordid political conspiracy to put the opposition leader behind bars and destroy his political career at a point when the political hegemony of the ruling regime has been threatened like never before.
Saiful has come off as a simpleton liar who fails to make his lies logical, believable and consistent. His tale is full of contradictions and his behaviour does not match the circumstances which he paints to the world. Although we should not expect too much of a college dropout he appears to have been badly coached.
The prosecution has given the unmistakable impression of a crude political persecution rather than seeking justice in good faith. The court processes fall far short of international standards for a fair trial.
On the sidelines Malaysians and the international community are left bewildered at the arrogant recklessness of the ruling party to try to pull off such a transparent stunt under the watchful eyes of the international press in the era of rapid information dissemination via the Internet.
The BN government is either dense enough to believe that they can pull off a brilliant conspiracy to convince the world of Anwar’s guilt or are contend to join the ranks of international pariahs like Zimbabwe, Myanmar and North Korea.
At this point the conspiracy has all but broken apart. Any sensible regime with any sense of survival would abandon this vile conspiracy but the BN regimes seem hell bent on executing its own destruction.