The Economist's full transcript of its interview with Najib Razak, the prime minister of Malaysia, is worth a read for those interested in the ongoing turbulence in Malaysia.
His comments about Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader who is currently on trial on sodomy charges, were particularly revealing.
Najib says that, despite foreign criticism, Anwar's trial is "not a political trial to begin with", that it is "a private matter for Anwar" who "just happens to be the leader of the opposition".
However, he warns that Anwar "will try to politicise it".
Najib then goes on to compare Anwar's predicament to that of Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair, saying that Anwar's alleged homosexual fling with a 23-year-old aide would be considered "politically untenable" in the West, not just in Malaysia.
Then, he accuses Anwar of failing in his duty of care to his employee by sexually harassing him. This despite the fact that Anwar strenuously denies the allegations against him and that the trial is currently in progress.
Who is politicising the trial here?
Even though he has just made detailed allegations about Anwar's conduct, Najib has the temerity to claim that "if we are seen to be manipulating the trial, and he doesn't get a fair trial, I'm sure the people will react against us".
If this public presumption of Anwar's guilt, coming from the prime minister no less, is not prejudicial to the trial, then what is?
Meanwhile, when it comes to the legal difficulties faced by one of Najib's main advisers, who was cleared of involvement in the murder of a Mongolian translator, Najib emphasizes the importance of not interfering in the justice system:
"If you want to sentence anyone, it has to be on the basis of beyond reasonable doubt. As long as you can introduce reasonable doubt nobody can be found guilty in our system."
It's a shame Najib didn't pick up on that other commonly accepted legal concept: innocent until proven guilty.