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Mahathir broke court order, claims

Subject: Mahathir broke court order, claims Anwar


      Mahathir broke court
      order, claims Anwar

      KUALA LUMPUR -- Ousted Malaysian
      deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim charged on
      Thursday that Prime Minister Mahathir
      Mohamad had ordered a lavish jet and had
      also violated a court ban on public
      comment on his case. 

      As his trial entered its ninth day, casting a
      shadow over the start of high-profile Apec
      meetings, Anwar said Mahathir had told the
      finance ministry to order a ''new and very
      sophisticated executive jet. 

      ''The impressive interior decor of this
      aircraft was designed by Dr Mahathir
      himself,'' he said in a statement read out by
      his wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, outside
      the court. 

      The plane, Global Express, allegedly cost
      200 million ringgit (US$52.6 million) and
      was expected to arrive next month. 

      Anwar also said the cost of Mahathir's
      residence at a new government centre
      exceeded 200 million ringgit, instead of the
      government's figure of 17.5 million ringgit. 

      ''The people can see for themselves how
      the prime minister lives in his glittering
      palace and flies in his sophisticated
      executive jet,'' said Anwar, who prepared
      the statement from his cell. 

      The former deputy premier and finance
      minister, sacked by Mahathir on Sept 2,
      has pleaded not guilty to 10 corruption and
      sodomy charges. 

      During a brief court adjournment on
      Thursday, Anwar was overheard telling his
      relatives that Mahathir violated a court gag
      order on public comment on his case. 

      ''They said no commenting on the case but
      the PM said something. There are two sets
      of laws, one for me and one for Dr M,''
      Anwar said, apparently referring to
      Mahathir's interview with CNN on Tuesday. 

      Mahathir had told CNN: ''I felt he [Anwar]
      was not compatible for the role he was
      going to play as premier. This moral issue
      we cannot accept. 

      ''Once the trial is over and people know
      what is right and what is wrong, I think they
      will have disposition. This issue will be

      Anwar, who was ordered on Wednesday
      not to comment on his case, was also
      heard saying in court that it was unfair that
      poison pen letters were used against him,
      when many such letters were also written
      against his ex-boss. 

      He was alluding to clashes in the courtroom
      on Thursday when his lawyers protested to
      prosecutors calling on a police witness to
      read out part of a purported second poison
      pen letter entitled ''Final rites for Anwar''. 

      Senior police officer Mazlan Mohamed Din
      later told the court that Anwar's former
      driver Azizan Abu Bakar had sworn on the
      Koran that Anwar had sodomised him. 

      ''Azizan was very consistent in making his
      allegation. I was of the view that Azizan is a
      victim and difficult for him to come forward
      to admit,'' said Mazlan, the seventh of 52
      witnesses to take the stand. 

      The hearing of Anwar's 10 charges should
      last until June, lawyers said. 

      Agence France-Presse