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Self-confessed assaulter Rahim 'suddenly' hospitalised, case postponed

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 (Hrkh) - Former Inspector General of Police, Rahim Noor, who early last year admitted to assaulting Anwar with blows which doctors said could be lethal, has been suddenly" hospitalised, hours before his trial began today.

His victim, the former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, has appealed against a two-month jail sentence imposed by the court on Rahim early this year.

In the High Court today, Rahim's lawyer Kumaraendran said his client complained of "chest pains" and was hospitalised only hours before the hearing was due to begin this morning.

High Court Judge Zulkefly saying it was the second time Rahim was "suddenly" hospitalised, adjourned the case until November 10 and told Rahim's lawyers not make anymore delays.

In June, Rahim, who is free on bail, claimed he suffered "acute exacerbation of bronchial asthma", causing his trial to be postponed. Rahim is on bail pending his appeal.

His blows on a handcuffed Anwar caused injuries resulting in the infamous black eye, which sparked international outcry and anti-Mahathir demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur that lasted a few weeks.

Prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, had then suggested that Anwar's injury could have been "self inflicted", while International Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz said a black eye could be created using an empty drinking glass.

Meanwhile in Indonesia, prosecutors have questioned the claims by former Indonesian president, Suharto, that he was unfit to attend his corruption trial.