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A letter from the British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, to the Rt. Hon. Sir Richard Needham:

                                                                           10 Downing Street
                                                                           London SW1A 2AAA

THE PRIME MINISTER                                                                                                                     3 November 1998

Dear Richard,

Thank you for your letter of 20 October about Anwar Ibrahim.

Robin Cook raised Anwar's case with the Malaysian Prime Minister on 21 September and the Malaysian Foreign Minister on 24 September.  I have been in direct contact with Dr Mahathir about his case.

We have also made our concern clear publicly.  After consulting our EC partners, the Austrian Presidency issued the enclosed declaration on behalf of the 15 on 2 October.  As you can see, this expresses our deep concern about reports of physical mistreatment of Anwar and calls upon the Malaysian authorities to guarantee the rule of law and to respect his human rights.

You raise the question of the conduct of the trial.  The EU has decided that there should be an observer at the trial and the
Presidency will be making arrangements for this.  Our High Commission also plans to be represented throughout.  So far as the
Bar Council is concerned, they are, of course, independent of Government.  I therefore suggest that you put your suggestion
directly to the Chairman of the Bar Human Rights Committee, Mr Nicholas Stewart, Q.C.

No doubt you will also be using your own influence directly with the Malaysian authorities.

Yours ever,


The Right Honourable Sir Richard Needham