Saturday, June 27, 2009

Attempted Witness-Tampering?

Lady Justice
(Image from Wikipedia)

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?"

"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?"
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:
"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.



At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like attempted bribery now.

Given your constant harping regarding your financial situation - CRAN!

See to it nephew makes that appointment.


At 9:40 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, I'm sure that a bribe would have been simple to elicit, but I'm still hoping to make my fortune the honest way . . . through the hard work of inheritance!

Uncle Cran, are you listening? I'm counting on your posthumous generosity.

(Pre-posthumous would also be acceptable.)

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm reassured.


At 1:54 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

That's gratifying, JK, for I highly esteem your opinion . . . as you know.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:51 AM, Blogger Sperwer said...

[Quote]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[Quote]

Well, it seems as if you could have corroborated any claim with the testimony of your wife; but you probably made the right decision to avoid getting further entangled with either of these tar babies. As an aside, speaking of the need sometimes to collect evidence, it's worth familiarizing oneself with the voice recording function of your handphone in order to be able to activate it quickly if needed.

BTW, any idea who won?

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Avoidance was foremost in my mind, Sperwer, especially since these 'tar babies' are also crybabies.

I don't know who won, but my testimony surely established the victim really was attacked unexpectedly and had done nothing to provoke the defendent -- not in that moment, at any rate.

I suppose that I ought to learn more about my cellular phone . . . but I try to use it as little as possible.

(I sent you an email, by the way.)

Jeffery Hodges

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