CHAPTER TWELVE: SODOMY, MONEY, AND SPIN

I do not mean to digress overmuch – a sin of which I am already guilty – and I appreciate your patience as I indulge my proclivity for drama and for narrative. But I assure you that all of my writings concern real events, and I ask that you bear with me again as we step out of the chronology into which we have settled as we turn to our subject’s trial for sodomy – and more importantly, what we learned during those tumultuous days.

I would like to return to two topics that saw perhaps their greatest change at the time: Anwar’s public relations machine, and Anwar’s money machine.

Let us begin with the public relations.

Few Malaysians are aware that most Westerners are unaware that Anwar Ibrahim was tried twice after his fall from grace, once for corruption, once for sodomy. Indeed, most Westerners who know of Anwar are convinced that he was tried for sodomy only, and that his trial was part of a political manoeuvre by Mahathir Mohamad to dispose of his reforming deputy prime minister once and for all.

One might credit this to a number of things, not least being that Western society is vaguely obsessed with sexual intercourse of every kind; that then-American President Clinton was being tried in Congress for lies about sex under oath, and so sex, so to speak, was in the air; or that the majority of Western reporters are liberals on sexual matters, and so were horrified that anyone could be tried for sodomy anywhere and quite lost the thread over the whole thing.

All of these things are true. But they are not the truth. The truth is that Anwar, whatever his failings, is a devilishly clever practitioner of public image control, and he mobilised his considerable resources toward the goals of enhancing his image abroad, and in turn using that to create a perception of inevitability at home.

I have remarked before that the ruthlessly competent Anwar who had worked his way from Youth and Sports to Education to Finance to Deputy Prime Minister had disappeared on being cashiered. In his place was a man one might reasonably mistake for an uninhibited Ego, who so believed in the power of his foreign backers and his carefully-crafted image that he believed street protests would bring down Mahathir Mohamad as they had the Indonesian dictator Suharto, a miscalculation of both Indonesia’s political culture and Malaysia’s.

But for all of the loss of his talent in politics, his gift for presenting the best face possible to the world never waned. Indeed, it seemed to blossom in a way it never had before. And so Anwar found the right notes to sing, and the right speed at which to play them, for his most fervent and gullible audience: foreign reporters.

It was with wry amusement that I read in the Wall Street Journal in late 1998 and early 1999 that Anwar Ibrahim, the reforming Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, had been tortured, thrown into prison, and charged with sodomy as part of the autocratic Mahathir Mohamad’s attempt to stop Anwar’s reforms once and for all, with the whole sodomy bit being a mere façade.

Oh, Mahathir was certainly an autocrat, and if the Royal Commission was to be believed, Anwar was certainly beaten, and he had certainly been charged with sodomy. Indeed, the truth or lack thereof of those assertions, made over the course of weeks, was not where the humour lay.

It was instead in the way the story built over the course of days and weeks in the Journal, the Economist, and other publications – those with whom Anwar had once been intimately familiar as Finance Minister, and with whom certain boutique consultancies in New York and London had close ties and easy access.

Having used and counseled some of those same consultancies, I recognised their fingerprints. The first, breathless revelations; the sudden twists and turns that have been known in-country for weeks; and the relentless messaging in friendly outlets. Whatever else may be said of Anwar Ibrahim, he pays for the best public relations experts, and he gets them.

Anwar’s opponents were not so well-prepared. Mahathir did himself no favours with his management of the situation. Years of unchallenged power, the Team A/Team B fiasco long behind him and even the King essentially reduced to a raw figurehead, the ease with which he had vanquished Anwar’s uprising – all of these things left the Prime Minister, who was generally disinclined to explain himself overmuch anyway, absolutely unprepared for what was coming.

Complicating the matter was the Government’s prosecution of Anwar’s sodomy charge, which might charitably be called incompetent. I refer not merely to the horrific state of the alleged physical evidence, but to the preparation of the witnesses. I distinctly recall shaking my head when reading that Azizan Abu Bakar had testified that he had been repeatedly sodomised, roughly a dozen times, between 1992 and 1993. The attempts to explain away poor evidence handling and contradictory testimony obscured what many with any real knowledge of Anwar believed to be an entirely accurate charge.

Anwar’s public relations teams feasted on the chaos. Foreign reporters no longer needed to come to Kuala Lumpur for live updates on the case and every Government misstep. Mahathir of course made it worse.

At some point, he took it on himself to assert the judiciary’s independence to any foreign questioner. One would expect no less, but he chose as his crucial proof the Team A/Team B matter. This became his stock response to queries from journalists, writers, and foreign leaders.

It did not take them long to uncover Mahathir’s reaction to the courts’ decisions in the Umno schism, or the subsequent moves in Parliament to permanently cow the judiciary. They found it particularly easy to discover this when Anwar’s public relations teams practically deluged them with the relevant clippings, constitutional changes, and photographs.

I know this, because many of the largest public relations firms are desperate to place copy far and wide, and even a poor facsimile of a real publication can receive their material on a simple request. I therefore received the same media packages in my capacity as principal of The New Bahasa Times, a publication with a mailing address at my father-in-law’s home and a total circulation of my group of ex-pat chums.

We duly sent thank-you notes.

These same consultants would form the nucleus of his public relations team through his time in prison (paid for out of Anwar’s and his Saudi masters’ funds) – but we shall return to their work in a later chapter. What was particularly impressive was the level of co-ordination Anwar managed with his financial and public relations teams whilst in prison, a particularly spectacular feat given the government’s surveillance of his correspondence.

Would that he had put half this much élan and daring into his coup attempt.

At home, with the domestic press largely foreclosed to him, Anwar needed alternative channels for his messages. Funds funneled through George Soros’s Open Society organisation allowed the creation of several online ventures, some of which remain today, whose slavish devotion to Anwar’s gospel made at least one of those public relations experts, whom I later hired, blanche. Soros, of course, needed no encouragement to accuse Mahathir of every crime imaginable, and so made it a point to maintain a steady flow of his own and Anwar’s (well-disguised) funds into Opposition media for over a decade.

But Anwar’s greatest work was in the Western press as a lever for domestic consumption.

The core message pushed out to Western reporters was, I thought, brilliant: Appeal to their sexual liberalism, their desire to champion the weak against the strong (even when the weak are wrong and the strong correct), and their belief in their own indispensability. Continue the Shakespeare allusions and bring them back to their days at university where they imagined themselves as literate in every field as the specialists. Provide them “exclusive” copy so that they felt wanted and appreciated. Wine, dine, and in an industry already frightened of what the internet would do to their livelihoods, help them live well.

I chuckled to myself as I looked through some notes on Anwar’s press contacts at Time, Newsweek, The Financial Times, The Economist, and the Wall Street Journal. I decided to set up a bit of an office game to see how each publication would work to convince its readers that Keadilan’s latest manouevre or Anwar’s latest tribulation was somehow important to their lives.

Amongst ourselves, we were only curious as to where what we were beginning to realise was his astronomical financial empire had gone. It was August 1999, and we largely believed Anwar a spent force.

We were, broadly, mistaken.

As Anwar’s sodomy trial ground on, and our investigations into his financial resources continued – as I discussed before – one of our overarching questions was not merely, How much does he have? but also Where did it go?

Mahathir had discerned quickly – through the use of open and covert pressure – part of Bank Negara’s role in Anwar’s money machine, and as a spigot for the funds to enter Malaysia, the institution’s days were over. Hong Leong was similarly largely separated from Anwar’s financial dealings as a security risk, though over time they would be welcomed back into the fold. The entirety of Anwar’s carefully-controlled crony network was unceremoniously seized, bullied, or dissolved.

Al Baraka Bank would remain a centre for Anwar’s dealings, because with the importance of the House of Saud to the Hajj, Mahathir was unwilling to completely dismiss Riyadh from Malaysia, an entirely rational move that would nevertheless allow Anwar to pour funds into Keadilan and his other in-country ventures as needed.

One of the details Mahathir’s investigators came across were the International Institute of Islamic Thought transfers amongst the Bank Negara records – hence the notations in Murad Khalid’s statutory declaration – and so Mahathir demanded that the United States close the institute or at least freeze its funds until the investigation was complete.

The Clinton Administration was long since irrevocably opposed to Mahathir and more than slightly in favour of Anwar, and so categorically refused. When Mahathir personally rang President Clinton to note that the IIIT was apparently channeling funds to known terrorist organisations, the line of communication was simply cut altogether. The IIIT would serve as a vital conduit and safe house for Anwar’s finances until a new President took office – and ironically swept in the neoconservatives, who were Anwar’s implacable allies but never placed in domestic policy.

With Hong Leong and Bank Negara essentially closed to Anwar’s funds, Al Baraka’s importance grew. Contacts in Riyadh passed along data to those of us growing the I-Files that the House of Saud was so invested in Anwar that they gladly recouped Al Baraka’s losses from Anwar’s inactivity, and helped re-create the financial empire with their man out of commission and his crony network broken.

Gone, obviously, were the front companies with names of variations of ‘black rock.’ Instead, new funds came into existence with names like ‘Independence’, ‘Liberty’, ‘Freedom,’ ‘Reformed’, and others in a similar vein, with offerings made to Anwar’s foreign backers (who generally could not otherwise afford the subscription fee) and invested in growth areas such as China, Turkey, the United States, and Brazil. It took the better part of a year for the entire operation to come fully into effect, but by the time the chaps in Riyadh and the fellows from the ruins of BCCI in Lahore completed their handiwork, the entire operation was fully functional again, albeit along different channels than before.

All told, Anwar had lost something on the order of over 1 billion US Dollars – a not trivial portion of his wealth – but the Saudis had plugged the leak and repaired much of the damage.

As I’ve said, the Saudis play the long game. Anwar never faced death for his crimes, and using his funds and theirs had quickly placed himself back in the political game, this time as the martyr for the Opposition. While PAS was hardly an idea vehicle for the Saudi agenda – PAS tend to have the subtlety of a tsunami with none of the visual appeal – Anwar’s path to political power, though diverted, was not permanently foreclosed. Anwar and his backers therefore dug in, certain that the street rallies and political unrest would give Anwar his opportunity sooner than later.

They were of course incorrect, but no one knew it then, and in the wake of Barisan Nasional’s poor showing at the Tenth General Election, many things seemed possible.

In early August 2000, I met with a couple of old chums, fellow compilers of the I-Files, to discuss the things decent men start to discuss as they age – family, investments, taxes, luxury automobiles, and women with whom they would never cheat on their spouses, though they sometimes almost wish they could. We were in Singapore, the air was alive with the raw energy of the place, and it was with no small amount of fear and awe that we discussed the cost of sending our various offspring to university.

We turned after a time to Anwar’s sodomy trial, which had just concluded the month before. I confess that by this time I was beginning to centre my operations elsewhere, and I had therefore begun to pay smaller amounts of attention to the day-to-day of Malaysian politics than had been true for most of two decades. Nevertheless, the whole, over-100-day-long affair had finally come to a conclusion, and so we discussed the likely outcome.

After expounding on the entire matter and the shoddy nature of the Government case, the Irishman to my left knocked back his Dewar’s and sagely said, “Oh, he did it. And they’ll doubtless convict him, though I’m not sure I would. What a fooking mess.”

I nodded at the last. “To think, it took over 100 days to arrive! Gentlemen, we missed our calling. We should have been lawyers.” A round of drinks followed that as we toyed with that. We were turning to sport – well, truthfully, we were turning to another round of drinks and perhaps a wobbly trip up to our separate rooms to sleep off the effects of too much alcohol and too much age – when our fourth companion showed up, impolitely sober.

“Anwar has been found guilty,” he said, and we all toasted each other for no reason at all other than being on the wrong side of drunk. Our sober friend gave us all an odd look, but by that point, none of us cared, or even knew exactly why we were toasting.

Anwar was of course convicted of sodomising his driver, a defeat he quickly turned into yet another public relations coup. He was imprisoned, politically neutralised for a time, and clearly biding his time.

Over the next several months, we would compile the data I have provided here and in earlier chapters on his financial empire as we worked to reconstruct how this man who started with relatively little came so very close to success, and to the status of ultra-rich by any national measure.

But the story of his political resurrection – a story on which I have only touched briefly – will be the story of the next couple of chapters.

CHAPTER ELEVEN: WHAT WE LEARNT DURING ANWAR’S TRIAL

As I’ve noted elsewhere in this tale, Kuala Lumpur was once a very different place. It was dirtier, but it was in many ways more fun – easier to get a draught of beer, easier to find a way to discharge some of one’s wild youth under a clear sky. By 1998, KL was much like it is now, with the gleaming, new Petronas Towers dominating the landscape, and so much of Malaysia’s controlled vibrancy on display.

It was this way of course until Anwar’s trial began.

It is a bit hard to describe the tumult and chaos of those days, but perhaps this will suffice: I have seen reports that among the protesters and anarchists, the throngs gathered around to view history, and of course the legions of local and foreign reporters, camera crews, and aides, there was a witch doctor present.

As anyone who spent any time around that court house knows: Bollocks. There were three. Two worked in tandem, even exchanging their foul-smelling head dress as they changed shifts. I have no idea why they did what they did, but they felt it terribly important that at any time a Western reporter was present, so should be a witch doctor, and preferably the same one – to Western eyes.

It was the third one whom I found so very interesting. He just stood off to the side whilst every carried on, then stopped forward at odd moments to shake what I believe to be a rattle manufactured in Guangdong and chant incoherently.

After seeing him perform this little manoeuvre for three straight days, I finally approached him and asked what it was he was doing. He grinned at me with bright, white teeth and said in an accent that could have been right out of Sydney, “That bloke in there is the Devil. Completely starkers. Gotta send him off.”

This struck me as hilarious, and by the time I’d asked if he meant Anwar or someone else he was gone, suddenly pressed for interviews by American reporters who’d discovered a ‘local’ who could speak English.

I never knew if he meant Anwar or the presiding judge. Probably both.

I tell this tale not merely to provide you a glimpse of what the biggest trial of the decade (with the possible exception of the strangeness going on with America at the time) looked like from the sidewalks, but to illustrate the hundreds of small details lost in any momentous event unless one happens to be in exactly the right place or the right time. Most of us must spend small fortunes on information gleaned from dozens of sources, eliminating the chaff and getting pieces of data at a time.

During the event itself, without being in the midst of all of the action and chaos, one is largely left with the sorts of things everyone knows – or could know, if they only paid attention. This was the most turbulent time of all for the I-Files, as many of our usual sources were either in fear of police detention, in fear of Anwar, or in fear of Mahathir. What we were able to glean during the events was dearly-bought – very dearly.

For that reason, this installment and the next will not focus so much on what we all know – Anwar was duly charged with sodomy and corrupt practices in two separate trials, the Western world claimed the trial was a political sham, Anwar was convicted of both … the tale is welltold. Instead, I will attempt to focus on the details that our boys managed to acquire between September 1998 and Anwar’s conviction for sodomy in August 2000.

We will begin with notes.

By then, Anwar’s extensive press operation – the one he had managed to build and fund outside his extensive network in the regular press in Malaysia – was not well-known. Today, it is not only found in Soros-funded online operations in Malaysia but in nominally grassroots efforts in the Peninsular, Borneo, Australia, and the United States.

I noted before our surprise at the gorgeous press kits Anwar’s supporters provided the reporters, clearly bespeaking the involvement of slick designers and Western media advisers. It was a surprise to receive, in return for a little over ten thousand ringgits, a copy of a pre-draft of a press release prepared for Anwar’s review just after he was released from detention.

There were several edits in red ink and meticulously written in a bold hand. I was particularly struck by one edit in particular: the ghost writer, apparently knowing Anwar’s penchant for the Bard’s works, had included a paragraph with Anwar comparing himself to Richard III, and quoting from the famous soliloquy in that play. Anwar – or whoever made the edits, though I was given to understand that it was Anwar – had scratched out the section and written, RICHARD II in its place.

Shakespeare’s Richard III was of course the story of the vicious, unnatural and monstrous tyrant thwarted before he could consolidate power. Richard II was a tale of a weak man who was unable to stand for himself in the end.

I do not understand why Anwar bothered keeping either. Henry IV would have been better, and at any rate had more appropriate speeches.

There were also notes about the compatibility of Islam and democracy – ironic from Anwar of all people – and a pre-emptive declaration that the courts which Anwar as DPM and Finance Minister had spent the past decade praising and defending were now too biased to provide a fair trial.

Although it appears that the fellow who procured this for me was a bit too anxious – the exact text as written never made it into Anwar’s diatribes – it was a useful preview of what was to come.

Bundled with that speech were a handful of ink-jet printed pages with talking points. I chuckled as I saw COMPARISONS and beneath it SAKHAROV, GANDHI, MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR. Added in red ink were SUU KYI and MANDELA. Beneath that was a section titled CORE MESSAGES, which I reproduce below, with the notations and strikethroughs included.

And yes, I noted the American spellings as well.

THE CHARGES AGAINST ME ARE POLITICALLY MOTIVATED. Mahathir’s afraid that his corrupt practises are finally catching up to him. I have bravely exposed his system of favoritism and cronyism and am paying the price for it.

I REPRESENT A NEW REFORM MOVEMENT. Much as in Indonesia, the old tyrants are falling before democracy people power democratic reforms. I worked to bring free market and democratic reforms to Malaysian society and have been fired sacked, tortured and imprisoned for it.

SODOMY IS NOT A CRIME. The law under which I have been charged is a relic of Malaysia’s colonial past, and modern nations recognize that relations between two men should not be a crime.

I AM INNOCENT OF THE CHARGES AGAINST ME. I am a devout Muslim, and I have never engaged in adultery, let alone this sort of act. My former driver has been threatened, bribed and intimidated into lying about me and my stepbrother. Even Malaysia’s biased judiciary will recognize this. This is clearly a plot by the Government to hide my status as a political prisoner.

I did not know it then, but of course these would become Anwar’s talking points for the next fourteen years.

I thumbed through these pages and noted a single point, one that would recur with frequency for years to come. Anwar’s most vociferous denials were always about the sodomy, but the corruption allegations seemed almost irrelevant at times. At that point, in November 1998, with the corruption trial just getting underway, I was struck by this contrast.

I considered the report Philip had delivered to me the week before. An informant had managed to somehow acquire firsthand knowledge of Anwar’s last chance to redeem himself before Mahathir and the Umno Supreme Council.

There, Anwar had argued that his moral weaknesses were not unique, and that others in the Cabinet were guilty of the same thing. He compounded this error by refusing to admit that he’d moved for a succession too quickly, and instead demanded that Mahathir step down as a “relic” who was out of touch with Malaysia. He also suggested that he knew of indiscretions on Mahathir’s part, and that those could come to light as well.

Mahathir had demanded that Anwar leave immediately. The rest was history.

Why was sodomy so much worse than corruption?

I would never learn the answer to that question, but as time went by and Anwar angrily responded to every allegation made against him with vociferous – and apparently well-paid-for – press releases; as the Free Anwar movement was born a mix of well-intentioned souls believing Anwar’s ridiculous claims, well-intentioned souls not particularly caring about Anwar’s claims, and of course Anwar’s cronies, desperate for another day in the sun; and as Malaysia slowly returned to its more pacific ways, we were able to secure more information by turns.

One was a stack of internal memoranda from foreign intelligence services’ in-country shops.

Almost all of it was concerned with four essential questions: Firstly, did Anwar do it? Secondly, what would he do next? Thirdly, what would the effect on Malaysia’s opposition parties be? And fourthly, would Mahathir tolerate a new political party formed around Anwar?

The American Embassy worked to quash this investigation from its intelligence services – especially the first part – for reasons that were never altogether clear to us. However, after personnel changes at the Embassy in December 1998, the investigation apparently took off as Embassy opposition ended. Despite these suggestive facts, we have never been able to determine if the change in the Embassy stance was innocent or not.

Regardless of all that, the intelligence services’ verdicts appeared to be that Anwar had indeed partaken of numerous corrupt practices during his time in Government, but that although Anwar may have engaged in sodomy at some points in time, the specific allegations against him for this sodomy trial were likely not true. There was a conflict on the latter point, and many of the reports simply suggested that in the absence of definitive proof, they would presume innocence.

What Anwar would do next appeared to be a sort of chaotic, shambolic rush from one idea to the next. With his corruption trial underway and Mahathir promising a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the abuse Anwar claimed to have suffered in detention, Anwar was in the weakest position of his political life. His abuse was the subject of a gold-standard review, and the crimes he was least prepared to deny were coming to a head.

The Opposition was, as usual, in a bit of a mess. Just a few months before, Mat Sabu had offered his unsolicited opinion that Anwar would be a worse prime minister than Mahathir. Karpal Singh, as I noted before, had denounced Anwar as a homosexual. The distaste that Lim Kit Siang had for Anwar would be hard to express in mere words. I am reliably informed that Nik Aziz thought Anwar beneath contempt.

Intelligence reports suggested a flurry of calls from Anwar to his former enemies, calls promptly placed on ice. A second flurry of calls went between the men who had been Malaysia’s opposition for decades as they worked to decide whether to accept into their midst a man who had spent over a decade and a half not merely opposing them, but working to undermine them and attack them at every turn.

For PAS, this was no great decision; politics and allegations of homosexuality notwithstanding, Anwar had been their sort of chap for years before joining Government, and once safely ensconced there, had shown a satisfying tendency toward the sorts of policies PAS always held dear.

DAP presented a dilemma, one which even the famously opportunistic leadership of that party had a hard time abandoning. Anwar had ruthlessly worked not merely to hold the status quo on bumiputra favouritism, he had worked relentlessly to undermine the Chinese and any Christians in Malaysia. To embrace Anwar was to embrace one of their worst enemies, better only than Mahathir. It was to betray their voters and their party rank-and-file.

Naturally they were the first to reach out to Anwar and welcome him into Opposition.

The question of what Anwar would do next and how Mahathir reacted would be answered just before the first verdict against Anwar was handed down.

By the end of March 1999, Anwar’s corruption trial was clearly drawing to a close. Informants from inside the government informed us that the general elections would not be held until at least this verdict was complete, as Mahathir had spent the last several months working unsuccessfully to combat Anwar’s public relations machine in the West and at home. The old man clearly wanted to be able to say that if Anwar was cleared of corruption charges – to his mind, the worse offences Anwar had committed – then he would be able to stand for election.

The so-called Reformasi movement had fairly obviously been intended as a political vehicle since Anwar launched it at the end of the prior year, and many of us were surprised that it had not simply started life as a political party. While we understood – better than most – that success often involves preparing the ground early, Anwar’s self-made role as martyr was such that he could have launched the movement and formed the party at the same time.

One might be inclined to offer him the benefit of the doubt, as he had a great deal on his mind at the time; but as time has passed, I’ve come to see that Anwar’s great skill in rising the ranks at Umno was either a gift he had lost or a gift he’d borrowed from those around him. Without a surrounding cast of cronies and enablers situated to aid him, Anwar’s skill with politics seemed meagre indeed.

Nevertheless, in April 1999, after months of staged difficulties in registering as a political party, at Anwar’s behest Wan Azizah executed what can only charitably be called a leveraged buyout of a tiny regional party and re-named it Parti Keadilan Nasional, apparently because Anwar has no sense of irony. It was great theatre: denied a chance to challenge the evil Barisan Nasional, the plucky rebels take on an existing party and transform it into a vehicle for Justice.

The problem with this narrative of course was that even though PKN would face the same challenges that had allegedly forestalled the creation of a separate party, its registration sailed through.

In another dodgy bit of trouble for Anwar’s story, the RCI concluded that Anwar had been abused and that Inspector-General of Police Rahim Noor should receive the blame for that abuse. The story of the lawless country run amok at the hands of the tyrant was weakened.

All of this was on my mind when I received a call on 14 April to tell me that Anwar had been convicted of corrupt practices.

Much of the rest of this part of Anwar’s tale is well-known. Anwar was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment, a verdict that would ultimately be largely upheld but for a single count being reversed. PKN formed a strategic alliance with DAP, PAS, and PRM to form an Opposition alliance that would make it through the general elections and then promptly fall apart over the eternal issue of hudud law.

Anwar’s sodomy trial picked up steam in June as the government prosecutors and Anwar’s defence team entered into an informal competition to see who could bungle the entire thing worse. From my vantage, it was a draw.

Anwar would write to his old Islamist chums extensively from prison, some of which became available to us. In 1999, Anwar wrote from prison to one of his co-founders at the IIIT: “In the quiet solitude of prison, I’m able to recollect vividly our meetings in Riyadh beginning more than 20 years ago. In spite our shared ideals, we were always engaged in heated debates on the issues of wasilah and fiqh awlawiyyat. Unfamiliar as I was with loud Arab rhetoric, I had to force a readjustment of my subdued mannerisms – in other words, my Malayness – just so I could be heard. But, each time, it was the diplomatic mastery of Dr Ahmad Totonji that brought about an amicable end to our debates.”

Totonji, of course, was the Iraqi fellow who had helped Anwar join up with the Saudi backers on whom he would rely for the rest of his life. But he was also so much more.

It is with the sodomy trial and the world’s reaction to it – and the things the world neither learned nor cared to learn – that the next chapter will concern itself.