Who’s Pinochio?

Art Harun

As a litigation lawyer, I am trained to discern facts from non-facts, truth from untruth. However, I must say that it is real easy to spot a lie in Court.

Most of the time, a witness could be spotted lying by his demeanor in the witness box. He would be restless. He would refuse to make eye contact when under cross-examination. His eyes would roll up to his right when he searches for an answer. Some of the witness even break into cold sweat when under intense cross-examination. Some become irritated and would begin raising their voice. All these are tell tale signs of a witness not telling the truth.

On other occasions, the documents tendered in Court prove that the witness has been lying. Documents don't lie. Witnesses do.

However, one of the more frequent sign that a witness has been lying is contradictory statements made by him. There are of course some reasonable explanation why a witness' testimony is contradictory. Sometimes, the event in issue has taken place a long time ago. As such, his may not have a perfect memory on the event anymore. Thus he contradicts himself. On some other occasions, the fact in dispute is subjective in nature and thus open to interpretation. In that event, contradiction may also occur.

Barring those circumstances, contradictions in a witness' testimony is a standard cause for the lying-o-meter bell to ring.

Which brings me to the subject of this article.

After the cow-head incident last week, I remember reading on MalaysiaKini and the Malaysian Insider that the head of the resident committee of section 23 said that they (the demonstrators) did not know where the cow-head came from. In other words, the carrying of the bleeding cow-head and the acts of spitting and stomping on the cow-head were not planned by the organisers. That implies that a third party was doing those things.

Of course, at this juncture normal reasonable people would ask why the hell didn't the demonstrators ask the so called third party to stop carrying the cow-head or spitting and stomping on it. Well, that in itself is a mystery.

Then, Minister Hishamuddin met the residents. In a press conference after the meeting, Minister Hishamuddin said the same thing. This is what he was quoted as saying by a Malaysian Insider report :

"They, the organisers, who are sitting left and right of me, didn't even know that somebody was going to bring the head of the cow during that demonstration".