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STATUTORY DECLARATION - Part 4

151. Once again I was asked to take an early hurried bath and then given my tea and slice of bread. But unlike the previous days I was not after that immediately taken to the interrogation room. Instead I was left in my cell.

152. Some time later one of the guards came into the cell and told me that they were taking me out. I did not understand what he meant. He handed me the clothes and slippers that  I had been wearing when I was arrested and asked me to get dressed.

153. I was then once again handcuffed and blindfolded and led out of the cell. I think I was taken one or two floors down and then put into a vehicle. I recollect the vehicle being driven for a long time. It then stopped and I heard a door being opened and a short while later my blindfold was removed. I noticed I was in a van with oversized blacked-out windows. They immediately replaced the blindfold with a pair of glasses which were "fuzzy" and did not allow me to focus.

154. They then transferred me to the back seat of a Proton car. I was wedged between two officers. The car moved off and after a short drive someone suddenly removed the fuzz glasses . I noticed that we were in the vicinity of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. One of the officers beside me put a jacket over my handcuffs, presumably to hide them. I noticed that the car was being driven erratically. One of the officers pushed me down on the seat so that I could not be seen.

155. When the car stopped I found that I was at Bukit Aman. I was asked to get out of the car and one of the officers  removed my handcuffs. I then saw one of the senior officers who had interrogated me walking towards the car. He spoke to two of the officers who had been in the Proton car. The three of them took me to a cafeteria where they ordered some food. This was the first meal I had had since my arrest.

156. While we were at the cafeteria Inspector Mazlan who had arrested me came to the table and told me that that he was now handing me over to another officer. There was an Indian officer with him at that time. This Indian officer was later identified to me when I was warded in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Ward of the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital as Rajakopal'. I am now told by my lawyers that Rajakopal is the named complainant on the charge sheet filed against me in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court. I had never met or seen this Rajakopal before that day. This Rajakopal only stayed there a short while.

157. Throughout the period I was at that cafeteria the three  interrogators stayed with me.

158. After Rajakopal left, the senior officer once again started telling me that my family would be proud of me and that they were safe. He reminded me that I was doing them and the nation a great service for which I would be remembered.  He then said it was time to take me for the statement to be recorded from me the way I had been briefed the night before and then added as an obvious warning that all my Internal Security Act detention problems would be resolved after I had given the statement.

159. They again put me in the car and hid me by making me bend forward. When the car finally stopped and I was taken out I noticed that I was in the Court complex.

160. At the Court while we were walking I was constantly being reminded of what I had to say in my statement to the magistrate.

161. We sat down in one of the rooms for a while. I think  they were having trouble because photographers were following them. They wanted to avoid the exposure. We went to an office  on 2nd or 3rd Floor. They had hustled me through a maze of corridors. I could not keep track of where we were going. I was then brought down and made to walk to a room where I was told a magistrate was waiting.

162. ASP Mazlan had accompanied me to the Magistrate's Court. A senior ISA officer was also there. ASP Mazlan went into the Magistrate's room and took me in. The ISA officer waited  outside.

163. The Magistrate talked to me in Malay. I said that I  needed an interpreter. An interpreter, I think he was called Affendi, was brought in. At that point the Magistrate told ASP Mazlan and the other police officers who had accompanied him to leave the room. That left only me, the Magistrate and Affendi in that room.

164. The Magistrate wrote some particulars on some ruled paper. She had some sort of guide-sheet on her left to which she kept referring. She wrote a paragraph or so; her name, etc. .... am here with ....my name.... She wrote and read it back to me.

165. She asked me whether I agreed; whether I wanted to change anything or add anything, etc.

166. I said, "no".

167. She wrote my name, her name, my I/C., her I/C No., etc.

168. Then she signed and asked me to sign.

169. At some point she asked if I was there of my own free will and made a remark about my being alone in her room. I  didn't know whether to laugh or cry because she was completely missing the point that I had been brought there by my captors and interrogators, that they were waiting outside her room and that when I was finished I was going to be handed back to them and taken back to my small cell. My life and my freedom and that of my family was in the hands of the police. They would surely know everything that was done or said in that room and they had in fact told me that they would get a copy of what had been recorded there, so what  free will could I exercise.

170. The irony of her writing that I was making a statement  of my own free will and reading back that statement to me and then asking me to sign it hit me very hard. She read back  that statement to me. She signed. She asked me to sign. She repeated that only the three of us were present in that room.  We signed again.

171. She then asked me to give my statement.

172. I narrated all that I had been asked to state by my  captors.

173. After she recorded my statement I signed as she requested. When she was finished she called back ASP Mazlan.  The other Internal Security Act officers were waiting outside. After I had been handed back to ASP Mazlan and the Internal Security Act officers, I was handcuffed, placed in a car and taken to Bukit Aman. There I was made to sit in a room in the Tower Block. I think this was on the 10th floor in ASP Mazlan's office.

174. While there I was once again fingerprinted and  photographed.

175. A little later ASP Mazlan came to me and commented on the statement I had given to the Magistrate. He said that it  was weak and that it had no dates or time in it or places or details. I told him that my interrogators the previous night,  in particular the senior officer, had briefed me on what to say in the statement. In fact that senior officer had reminded me once again that afternoon of what was at stake in my life if I did not stick to what was expected of me.

176. ASP Mazlan then asked me whether I had a lawyer. I said  I did not. He said to me that I was not to worry and that he had one for me. ASP Mazlan never at this point of time, or before or after that, tell me that my wife had already engaged a lawyer for me and that that lawyer had already been in contact with Police Headquarters right from the first day of my arrest.

177. He then made a telephone call and spoke to someone. I  did not know who he was talking to. He mentioned a name to me - Yacob Karim - and after telling me that he was to be my lawyer handed the phone to me. This Yacob Karim reminded me that we had met at a conference in Sarawak. This was once some six years ago. I had never met this Yacob Karim after  that and did not know where his office was or his telephone numbers. I was nevertheless relieved that here at last was someone I had met, even if once six years ago, and that  perhaps I would get some assistance from him. Yacob Karim said that he would see me soon. I thought I was speaking to Yacob Karim while he was in his office.

178. About 5 to 10 minutes later ASP Mazlan said to me that  he was taking me to this lawyer, Yacob Karim. We left his office and ASP Mazlan took along a copy of the statement recorded by the Magistrate.

179. I was mentally prepared to being driven out of Bukit  Aman to some office somewhere. Instead the elevator stopped at either the 3rd or 5th floor. I thought that ASP Mazlan was stopping there to pick something else up. He asked me to get out and follow him. We entered a room in which I saw a table and two chairs. I was asked to sit. Hardly had I done so when this Yacob Karim walked in through another door.

180. All I can say is that it was a pre-arranged thing and that when ASP Mazlan spoke to Yacob Karim a little earlier this Yacob Karim was already there in the Police Headquarters..

181. Yacob Karim sat at the table across from me. His first  statement to me was that he was sorry that it, the sodomy,  had happened to me. I was shocked at this as it showed that  he had been briefed by the police and even more shocked that  he believed it. He had a copy of the statement with him.

182. ASP Mazlan and another unidentified police officer were present throughout the time I was with Yacob Karim.

183. Yacob Karim then proceeded to tell me that arrangements were being made and that I would be taken to a Sessions Court  the next day and that I would have to plead guilty to a charge and to admit to the offense. I asked him why I was being asked to plead guilty and he replied that otherwise they could not proceed with the case against Anwar. He said arrangements had been made to get me a light sentence. To  every question that I asked him after that he gave me a stock answer - "Don't ask me. Ask the Police."
 
184. He then proceeded to ask some brief questions about my background, made some handwritten notes and added that he had  got my background from the police. He kept assuring me throughout that the sentence would be lenient and that it  would be a few months. I tried telling him that I had done no  wrong but he in reply told me that I should not worry and  that I was doing a great service to the nation, that the nation of Malaysia would remember me for these services.

185. Yacob Karim left after that.

186. Yacob Karim never at any time spoke about fees or being retained by me or about informing my wife about my situation.  I am now not surprised at the way he attended to me that afternoon since his conduct then and subsequently clearly  showed that he was working together with the police in  denying me my rights.

187. After Yacob Karim left, three of my previous interrogators came into the room. One of them was the Malay officer who had persistently interrogated me since my move to the interrogation center. They reminded me of the arrangements made for the next day and warned me of the consequences if things went wrong. I was reminded that my family was vulnerable and that my sacrifice was small for their and my well-being. I was told that the US agents were waiting for the next day's proceedings and would leave after that and that my US citizenship was secure. I was told that the nation was proud of me, that it was only a small favor for Malaysia.

188. I was cautioned to be strong the next day and to plead guilty as the lawyer had told me to do. I was told that I had to believe the senior ISA officers and that all their promises would be fulfilled. They told me that I had to understand their difficulties because Anwar's people were now my enemies and that they would try to burn my house down and to hurt me and my family. They said that I had to be away for 5 to 6 months so that things would quieten down but that after I come out of prison there would be a job waiting for me. During these 5 to 6 months, they said, my family would be looked after and that they had already talked to my wife. My wife now tells me that no one from the Police Headquarters called her or gave her any information about my whereabouts.

189. After all these warnings I was locked up in a cell at Bukit Aman and left for the night.

190. By next morning I was a wreck of a man with worry. I was asked to dress in the same clothes that I had worn when arrested. I had slippers on my feet and was given a skull cap o wear to hide my bald head.

191. I was taken to the Court complex by ASP Mazlan and several other police officers. They adopted various cloak and dagger tactics to initially keep me hidden and away from the hordes of photographers there. I was finally taken into a court. I was shivering and my palpitations were very strong. My breathing was labored and I had difficulty controlling my  bladder. I remember at some stage somebody giving me  something to wear to stop the shivering but it did not help.  I remember at some point in the middle of the court  proceedings being no more able to control my bladder and  having to be allowed to go and urinate.

192. I was then taken into a Court by ASP Mazlan and many other police officers. Yacob Karim was in that Court. I saw  ASP Mazlan and the other police officers spread themselves  around the Court. Yacob Karim came to me and handed me two documents. He said it was the charge which I had to admit. I  saw the documents for the first time that morning. Even in my  condition I was shocked at the details. Yacob Karim told me  not to question anything, just to plead guilty and then, when  asked, to acknowledge that I knew I could be punished for the offense. He then showed me another sheet which he said were the facts of the case. He said that when the facts were read to me I was to admit them and say nothing else. He told me that he would attend to the rest and that everything had been taken care of.

193. At one point before the judge came into the Court I saw a man come near me. He said that he was a lawyer and that my  wife had appointed him to act for me. This man pointed at Yacob Karim and asked who he was. Yacob Karim came to where I   was and stood there. This man spoke to me rather abruptly and asked who appointed Yacob. I pointed at ASP Mazlan. ASP Mazlan appeared angry and immediately gestured that I  shouldn't involve him and pointed towards Yacob. I saw some  of the other plainclothes police officers start to move. I  panicked, wondering what was about to happen and feared for  my wife and children. Yacob who had been quiet suddenly found  his voice and said he was my lawyer. I lost control of myself  then, out of sheer fright. My head was full of the Internal Security Act, the threats made to me and my family, the  presence of the police there in the court, the warnings that Anwar supporters would kill me and my family, the need to  keep secret the details of the police as they had demanded. I  felt that if I made a single move that displeased the police my family would be hurt, that they would bring down their   full force to bear down on my wife and my two young children. I had already felt the force of their strength.

194. I screamed at this lawyer words to the effect that he had no right to communicate with my wife or to invade my privacy. I hoped with that outburst to appease my captors so that they would leave my family alone. I then spoke out loud for ASP Mazlan and the other police officers to hear that I  had nothing to do with that lawyer coming there.

195. At some point when I was in that court I saw my wife  there. She appeared petrified, as if cast in stone. She seemed unable to move like an animal caught in the glare of  the headlights of a moving car. She didn't even blink. She was totally helpless. So was I.

196. This was the first time I had ever been in a Court. I  haven't even had a parking violation in my 23 years of  continuous living in the US.

197. The proceedings moved fast after that. I did what the police expected of me. I was trembling uncontrollably hroughout the proceedings. Even a jacket which was placed over me did not stop me from shaking and shivering uncontrollably. No one seemed to care. The words, sounds, sights all floated around me as if I was in a daze. Yacob's  mitigation was now in a written form. I was sentenced and then handcuffed. Yacob came to me and told me not to worry.  ASP Mazlan came to me and said I now had to face the cameras.  I was taken out and met by hordes of photographers. I was  moved to a cell in the Court complex. Before leaving me there ASP Mazlan came once again to me and said that the Inspector General of Police was very happy with the way I had handled myself in Court.

198. After the Court proceedings I was sent to Kajang Prison and from there, on 23 September 1998, because of my deteriorating health, I was rushed to the Institute Jantong Negara (National Heart Institute) and then transferred to the Coronary Rehabilitation Ward [Ward 29] at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital.

199. While I was at the CRW (Ward 29) in the General Hospital I was visited at various times by police officers together with Yacob Karim. They were uninvited visitors who kept on  trying to alternately threaten, convince and advise me against filing or proceeding with an appeal against the false conviction and sentence recorded against me on 19 September 1998 by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court. One of the officers who came to the CRW ward 29 was a Chief Inspector Rajakopal  whose name is recorded as the complainant on the charge sheet filed in Sessions Court in my case.

200. The Prison Officers guarding me at the General Hospital are maintaining a log book of all my movements and visitors while in Hospital. This has records of the various visits by Yacob Karim and the police officers coming together,  sometimes beyond regular visiting hours or days.

201. I state categorically that I have never had a homosexual  relationship with Anwar Ibrahim or with anyone else. I  further state categorically that the details of the alleged homosexual relationship contained in my statement made to the Magistrate and those given to the Court by the prosecuting agencies and Yacob Karim on 19 September 1998 were untrue and were fabricated by the police.

202. I was interrogated over long and continuous sessions. I  was always removed from my cell as No: 26, always blindfolded and handcuffed. I was systematically humiliated by my captors who always remained unidentified. They stripped me of all self-respect; they degraded me and broke down my will and  resistance; they threatened me and my family; they frightened me; they brainwashed me to the extent that I ended up in Court on 19 September 1998 a shivering shell of a man willing   to do anything to stop the destruction of my being.

203. I have done no wrong and I am innocent. I am a happily  married man with two lovely children. I was just doing my work and enjoying it. My captors and my interrogators have destroyed all that. They have wrongly made me a criminal and taken away my freedom. They have destroyed my self confidence and embarrassed me. They have shattered the peace, harmony and happiness of my family and my simple home.