Refusal to help family angered Mahathir: Anwar

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at SPAMbom4.vsnl.net.in
Thu Nov 11 05:11:42 MST 1999



10 November 1999 : Refusal to help family angered Mahathir: Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR: Jailed politician Anwar Ibrahim Tuesday accused Prime Minister
Mahathir Mohamad of fabricating sexual misconduct charges against him
because he refused to protect an illegal financial empire which benefitted
Mahathir's family and friends.
``I was no longer deemed to be reliable in protecting the interests of his
family and cronies,'' Anwar said during his sodomy trial in the Kuala Lumpur
High Court.
In his defense testimony, Anwar has alleged that he was a victim of a
political conspiracy hatched by Mahathir's allies who felt threatened by his
moves to expose government corruption. ``I was instructed by the prime
minister to use treasury funds to compensate a company without going through
proper audits and financial procedures,'' said Anwar, who held the posts of
deputy prime minister and finance minister until Mahathir sacked him on
Sept. 2, 1998.
Anwar was arrested 18 days after he was fired and has been in jail since
then.
Judge Ariffin Jaka, who is conducting the trial, attempted to stop Anwar's
tirade. He demanded that Anwar provide evidence to support his allegations.
There was enough evidence to show that Mahathir was angry with Anwar, but
none to prove that he fabricated allegations of sodomy, he said.
Mahathir's former protege also alleged that the prime minister was keen on
helping a company involved in a large hydroelectric project because one of
his sons would benefit from it.
Defense lawyers argue that hostility between Mahathir and Anwar erupted in
1998 after the two leaders disagreed on economic policy and on certain big
development projects.
Anwar also said he was in pain despite the drugs prescribed for headaches
that have forced repeated trips to hospital and interrupted his trial in the
last two weeks. ``They keep popping pills into me. I feel like some kind of
drug addict,'' Anwar told reporters during a break in the hearing.
Doctors conducted a battery of tests on Anwar last week, including a brain
scan, to determine the cause of headaches. Lawyers have said the 52-year-old
politician's health has deteriorated since he was hospitalized in September
after he alleged he was being poisoned with arsenic in prison. He lost
nearly 12 kgs, suffered blood pressure fluctuations and severe migraines.
Although government doctors ruled out ``acute or chronic'' arsenic
poisoning, they said Anwar needed constant medical attention. (AP)





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