Readers of this blog who looked at the comments to Thursday's blog entry about my 'nonexistence' will have noticed the reference to "witness tampering." My friend Sperwer -- who knows a 'little' about law -- had asked what the fight between the two men was about. I replied:
Sperwer, I never found out what the fight was about. Both the victim and the defendent contacted me by phone to try to get me to change my testimony in favor of one or the other. I was so annoyed with the two of them that I hardly cared what they were fighting about -- or didn't care enough to inquire since I'd then have to listen to them abuse each other verbally.Sperwer observed:
Witness tampering, eh. You should have dropped a dime on both of them.I responded:
That would have meant dealing with both of them even more, and I hope that this is finished.Even if I had been inclined to "drop a dime on both of them," I would have had no evidence or witnesses -- just my word against theirs. But since I'm not naming either the defendent or the victim, I'll briefly note the two phone calls.
The defendent contacted me last autumn. I don't know how he found my home number, but since he had discovered my name, then perhaps getting my number wasn't difficult. At that time, he spoke to my wife and asked her why I was acting as a witness. He tried to impress her with how important and powerful he was and that he was a 'friend' of foreigners. The other, defaced side of that coin would be that he could also be an 'enemy' of foreigners. She finally got him off the phone, and I advised her that with such a call, she should just hang up, but he contacted me the next day while I was teaching. I felt my cellular phone vibrate during my lecture, so during the break, I called back, not knowing who had called. I reached his secretary, who put me briefly on hold. The defendent then came on the line and tried to get me to retract my testimony:
"Are you sure," he asked, "that you saw me that evening of the reception?"He then quickly rattled off his importance, his 'friendship' with foreigners, and the fact that the other fellow was a bad man who was just using me. I interrupted him:
"Your phone call is inappropriate," I told him.
"Are you sure," he repeated, ignoring my warning, "that you saw me that evening of the reception?"
"Listen to me very carefully," I warned. "Your phone call is highly inappropriate. I am going to hang up now. Do not call back."I then hung up, and to my relief, he did not try to call again. But the evening before the case went to court, the victim called me on my cellular phone while I was at home and asked if I were going to show up and act as witness. I said yes, of course. He seemed to want to talk about something, so I gave the phone to my wife since the man wasn't being completely clear. He begain complaining about the testimony that I had given to the police nearly two years ago. He called it a 'mishmash' -- or so my wife translated. He was particularly concerned that I had not stated that the defendent had struck him using fists. My wife, clearly annoyed, informed him that I had not observed anything like that. He protested that my testimony wasn't of much help to him without that. My wife, even more annoyed, angrily told him that I would testify to what I had seen, not something that I hadn't seen -- and she hung up.
Next day, just outside the courtroom, the defendent again tried to tell me that the 'victim' was a dishonorable man. I told him, "I do not wish to talk to you," and I then entered the courtroom, where I encountered the victim, whose greeting I barely acknowledged.
And as for the rest . . . you already know.