Columbo (1971) s05e02 Episode Script

A Case of Immunity

This envelope contains certain material, which, in the wrong hands, could lead to the overthrow of my king.
Wow! Mr.
Morgan is with the Protocol Department, Columbo.
The feeling expressed to me is that you've been indulging in a personal vendetta.
Mr.
Salah, I have made a discovery that you are going to find emotionally disturbing.
I want you to be prepared for it.
Halt! Lieutenant Columbo is in violation of Suarian territory.
Alafa.
Youseff, please come to the executive office right away.
Is there something wrong, sir? I'll let you be the judge of that.
What happened, Hassan? As Security Chief, I was hoping that you could tell me, Alafa.
Whoever did this must be working in the Legation.
You are most astute, Alafa.
He's dead.
All right.
Let's see how you look.
Come, come, come, come.
Perfect.
Everything must be done with split-second precision.
You understand? Yes, sir.
I will try.
Try, Rahman? Try? A child tries.
A man accomplishes.
You must succeed.
I promise I will not let you down.
I am sure you won't.
Now remember, the explosion must follow immediately after the phone call.
You understand? At precisely 4:00.
Be certain that you are seen when you escape.
It is imperative that the revolutionary Suari students be made to look responsible for the arson and theft.
Hakim's rifle? It is jammed.
It will not fire.
Youseff Alafa was a traitor.
A double agent working for the revolutionary underground, masquerading as the security chief of this Legation.
These papers will prove as much.
And you You, my friend, your name will be known far and wide as a hero for unmasking and disposing of this vermin.
Los Angeles Police Department.
I know.
I'm late.
Responsibility for the King's safety.
I'm sorry.
Continue, sir.
I didn't mean to interrupt.
Forgive me, Commissioner.
I didn't mean to be late.
My apologies.
I was saying, that along with your official responsibility for the King's safety on this royal visit, I, too, as First Secretary have a responsibility, a personal responsibility for his safety.
And that is why I have requested this meeting, Commissioner.
Yes.
Well, I appreciate your concern, Mr.
Salah.
That's the reason I have asked the various Division Captains to be present.
Now.
Captain Jamison will be in charge of riot control.
What are you doing here? I was told to report here, sir.
Captain Putman will be handling the motorcades from the airport to the Legation.
Wait a minute! Captain Colimo was supposed to be here! And Captain August Got the names mixed up! Captain August will be in charge of intelligence relative to the King's visit.
My compliments, Commissioner.
Your security arrangements have obviously been well prepared and well thought out.
Yes, well, we hope so.
If you will allow me, this is an itinerary of His Majesty's visit.
And I'm sure you will find it most helpful.
There you are.
Sir.
Thank you very much.
You're quite welcome.
Sir.
Thank you.
You're quite welcome.
Oh, I'm sorry.
It's all right.
It's quite all right.
Yeah? Mr.
Salah? Thank you.
Yes? It's for you, sir.
Thank you.
Youseff Alafa.
There's a spot on there, sir.
No, that's all right, thank you.
We'll take care of it.
Thank you.
Yes, that's my security chief.
Youseff? I am calling as ordered, sir.
It is precisely 3:55.
The timer is set to 4:00.
Oh, yes, yes, yes, I see.
No, I don't believe extra security is necessary I'll run along.
You might as well stay.
You're here now.
The students are vocal but hardly dangerous.
And you will be pleased to know that police arrangements are more than adequate.
Yes.
Yes, we should both be most grateful.
I will wait for your call.
Thank you, Youseff.
Goodbye.
Mr.
Salah, there's one point we haven't covered and that's police protection inside the Legation grounds.
Well, we are confident of our own security within the Legation, Commissioner.
This is an area that needrt concern you.
Indeed, as you know, in effect, it is foreign territory.
Did you hear anything? Hear what? Nothing.
Nothing, I guess.
Long live the King! Down with Salah, he's a traitor! Halt! Are you crazy? Mr.
Salah! Wait! Columbo? Columbo, forget it, you have just joined the Suarian Task Force, sir.
Listen to me, I had a call from the Legation.
Robbery and murder.
Every week.
Murder? No one is allowed to pass.
I know.
That's what the other three guards told me, but I'd like to look around.
Lieutenant Columbo, Homicide.
Let him pass.
We seem to have a great many police roaming about the Legation.
Yes, sir, they're from the arson and robbery details, sir.
We kind of specialize.
I see.
And you specialize in murder? Well, you know how it is, sir.
You go where they send you.
I recognize you.
I was afraid of that.
We met at the Commissioner's meeting.
I wasrt supposed to be there.
They got the names mixed up.
Happens all the time, sir.
How amusing.
And how coincidental.
Do you mind if I look around? No, go right ahead.
The others are upstairs.
Now, what about this Arabic written on the wall here? What does it mean? Does it have any special significance? What does it say? Well, they're political slogans.
All anti-government.
Political slogans? These people are fanatics? Yes.
ME's on the way, Captain.
Should be here in about 15 minutes.
Well, what about the guard downstairs? Says he didn't see a thing.
Can you trust him? Amman Gurrah? Well, he's a very dependable man.
Thought he saw something about 4:00.
Must have been the explosion, but he never left his desk.
So, nobody was seen either going out or coming in, right? No.
So that means he must have gone out the window.
Looks like.
Yeah.
Well, maybe he did, maybe he didn't.
All right, check downstairs.
Maybe somebody saw him either coming in or going out.
They got two gates, one front, one rear, and another one by the tennis court, padlocked.
He could have come over the fence, but that's risky.
If he had gone down the stairs, the security guard would have seen him.
Must have been the window, then.
Now, is that reasonable? That's quite a drop.
Well, if he could get on the roof Oh, the roof, yeah.
Let's just figure he went out the window.
Good.
Excuse me.
That stuff on the floor that was burnt, where did that come from? The safe.
That's what I thought.
They destroyed some very valuable state documents.
They kept them in there.
Thank you.
All right.
Let's check out in the corridor.
I just wanna make sure.
What time did you say that the car crashed out of the gate? Excuse me? He was the Chief of Security? Yes.
New man on the job? No.
He'd had 15 years of experience.
You wanna move a little? Sorry? You're blocking my shot.
Just a second.
I wanna check something.
Nasty looking, huh? What's that? The back of his head where he got hit.
What'd he get hit by? Someone said a tire iron.
The guy dropped it down in the driveway.
We know the timer was set for 4:00.
That we know.
Now, the safe blows.
The guy cleans it out, starts his little bonfire and the car crashes out of the gate at 4:06.
That's 6 minutes.
Makes sense.
He could've gone out the window.
Yeah.
Now, about the safe.
Excuse me.
What about the safe? Well, that was $600,000 that was stolen.
What was that money to be used for? You'll have to check with the First Secretary.
All right.
Excuse me, were you here when the bomb went off? Evidently, yes.
I heard a noise around 4:00.
But you didn't see anybody suspicious come down the stairs? No, sir.
Sorry.
I was looking for the rear door.
Sorry.
Sorry.
Rear door.
Is this the gate the guy broke out of? Police.
LAPD.
Do you speak English? Yes.
Were you on duty all afternoon? I can promise you, sir, the fanatic did not enter the Legation grounds by this gate.
But he got away through this gate? Yes.
Did you get a good look at him? Only a brief glance over my rifle sight.
Oh, you tried to shoot him? Of course, but the gun wouldn't fire.
I aimed my rifle.
Nothing happened.
Uh-huh.
That ever happen before? No, never.
How often are the rifles checked? Once a week.
I suppose you have a special room for the guns? Of course, sir.
And who would have keys to that room? Youseff Alafa.
And, of course, the First Secretary.
Thank you.
May I help you, sir? I'm not sure.
I'm Lieutenant Columbo, police department.
I'm looking for a key.
What sort of key, sir? The key to the gunroom where you keep the rifles for the guards.
Youseff Alafa always kept it locked, in there.
That's the key to the gunroom.
What about the key to this padlock? Oh, Youseff Mr.
Alafa kept it on his person.
Thank you very much.
Yes, sir.
Just a second.
Excuse me.
It's cold and full.
Never got a chance to drink it.
I gave Youseff this mug.
You see the inscription here.
What does it say? I'd rather not translate, Lieutenant.
It's earthy humor.
Oh.
Each afternoon, Youseff would join our coffee break and tell us unrepeatable stories.
It was his way and we loved him very much.
I'm sure you did, madam.
Excuse me.
What time were those coffee breaks? before or after.
Thank you very much.
This is a beautiful piece, sir.
You know, we have one just like this back on the dining room table in our house.
Almost the same design.
This is 3rd century.
It's won'th several thousand dollars.
No kidding.
Yeah, I think my wife got ours at the Farmers Market.
Well, I guess ours is just a copy.
This is beautiful, too.
The box.
This must be won'th a fortune.
Is there something in particular you wanted to talk to me about, Lieutenant Columbo? Columbo.
Yes.
Yes.
It's a delicate matter, sir.
Concerning what? The crime, the murder and the theft.
And what about it? I'd like to start from the beginning, if you don't mind.
I like to work with questions, and I write myself out these questions.
Why did the security man enter the office? I assume he heard the explosion and ran in to see what happened.
If he heard the explosion and ran in to see what happened, why didn't he take out his gun? Where was the gun? In his holster, sir.
He never even undid the flap.
So what does that mean? It means, when he entered the office he couldn't have been alarmed.
Otherwise, he would have taken out the gun.
So I figure that he entered the office before the explosion.
I see.
That's very interesting.
He entered the office before the explosion.
So where does that lead you? Back to the first question, sir.
Why did the security man enter the office? For a number of reasons.
He could have been making his rounds, he could have been looking for something.
In which case, he would have caught the criminal off guard.
True? True.
The criminal would have been caught by surprise, yes.
That's the problem, sir.
You see, it was the security man that was surprised, not the criminal.
You see, the security man got hit on the back of the head and there was no sign of struggle.
The body was right out there in the middle of the room.
How does an experienced security man surprise a criminal in the middle of his crime and allow himself to get hit in the back of the head? Do you have the answer? That's what's delicate, sir.
Well, please.
Go on.
This is very important to me.
A security man could only get hit by someone who didn't alarm him.
Someone that he knew and trusted.
Someone who could catch him off guard.
Perhaps we could talk out here.
I'm sorry, sir.
Magnificent grounds! What a backyard! Beautiful, sir! I've never seen flowers like this in my life! We come from an arid country and gardens are a rare luxury.
But.
You were saying that the security man, Mr.
Alafa, was murdered by someone he knew and trusted.
Mr.
Salah, I have made a discovery that you are going to find emotionally disturbing.
I want you to be prepared for that.
Well, thank you.
I'm prepared.
Go on.
Nobody from the outside came in and committed this crime.
It was all done from within.
Why do you say that? It's an inside job, sir.
Yes, Lieutenant.
I heard you the first time, but on what do you base that conclusion? Whoever did this knew the combination.
That's not a student, sir.
Now, what do you mean, "knew the combination"? On what do you base that conclusion? Now, how can you say that? Answer with facts, sir! The plaster powder from the ceiling, sir.
The explosion caused plaster powder to come raining down from the ceiling.
Small little particles of dust.
And some of them fell on top of the ashes of the documents that had been removed from the safe.
So, obviously, sir, the documents had to be removed and burned prior to the explosion, otherwise, there wouldn't have been any powder on top of them.
Excellent observation.
So, the safe was opened by someone who knew the combination, and you're suggesting that it was someone who works for the Legation.
That is very disturbing.
But, nevertheless, facts are facts.
How can I help you, Lieutenant? If I could look at the personnel files, sir.
Of course.
In my office.
This is a complete list of all personnel assigned to the Legation.
You may question whomever you choose.
Actually, sir, I took the liberty earlier of finding out who's here and who isn't.
I can account for everybody at the time of the murder except for this fellow.
How do you pronounce his name? Rahman Habib.
He's a code clerk, Lieutenant.
He's a very good man.
When did he go on vacation? Well, yesterday, I believe.
He's visiting New York City.
Would you know where he's staying? Yes, the Kimberly Park Hotel.
I'll check the memo.
Would this Rahman Habib have access to the safe? No.
Only Youseff Alafa and myself knew the combination.
But he could have picked up the combination.
Maybe watched somebody open the safe.
And so could have a dozen other Legation employees, Lieutenant.
But none of the others left on vacation, sir.
Rahman Habib has been a trusted employee of this Legation for almost 11 years.
I cannot believe he would he could be involved in such crimes.
This picture is not gonna help the situation, sir.
What do you mean? Several of the picketers outside the Legation saw the man who crashed through the gate.
Their description could match this photo of Habib.
Place a call to New York immediately.
The Kimberly Park Hotel.
I can appreciate your feelings, sir.
The fact is, he doesn't look like much of a murderer.
You know, after 15 years in this business, I can still look at a person sometimes and say to myself, "He can't be the murderer.
" And are you often right? Oh, 20% or so, if that.
Not too many times.
Yes? Thank you.
Kimberly Park Hotel? This is Lieutenant Columbo of the Los Angeles Police Department.
I'm checking on the whereabouts of a Rahman Habib.
What? I see.
Thank you.
He made the reservation, all right.
But he never checked in.
Yes? Habib? Are you all right? You were supposed to call me last night.
It was impossible.
The police have been everywhere.
The newspapers mentioned some missing money.
Sir, there was no money, as you well know.
Rahman, do not concern yourself with American newspaper reporters.
The plan is working perfectly.
Arrangements have been made for the flight.
I shall meet you in one hour.
The rendezvous we agreed on? Yes, yes, yes.
Remember, Habib, one hour.
Hassan Salah speaking.
I shall be retiring to my quarters now.
Please see to it that I am not disturbed.
Thank you.
Salah! Calmly, calmly, my dear friend.
Now, panic can only bring on fear and defeat in this life.
Did you bring the papers? Yes.
Good.
Here is your new passport.
Your ticket to Bern.
And $10,000.
$10,000? A job well done should not be casually rewarded, hmm? I don't know what to say, I You know, sir, all these years.
Working as a code clerk, I never dreamed I'd be involved in matters of such significance.
Let me assure you, Habib, within days your name will be shouted loud in the streets of Suari.
It is a promise.
Now, come.
Come, come.
Good morning, Doctor.
Good morning.
Is that him? Is that who? Habib.
I don't know.
I just got here myself.
Amir Faisan.
His name was Habib.
He was carrying a phony passport.
Where are his personal effects? Well, that's his stuff over there.
Time of death? Let's see.
Eddie did a preliminary work up on this guy before he had to leave.
Oh, yeah.
Time of death, between 8:30 and 10:30.
Is that the best you can do? Give me an eyewitness and I'll do better.
What is that, Doc, bits of broken glass there? Bits of broken glass.
Let's see what I've got here.
Gee, that doesn't look like broken glass to me.
Valuable? It's won'th a great deal of money, Lieutenant.
Speaking of money, sir, we're holding the $10,000 down at headquarters for a few days.
In the meantime, I thought you might as well have these back.
Thank you.
Thank you, Lieutenant.
You did not inspect the contents of this envelope? No, sir.
Ah.
It is well.
I can tell you, Lieutenant, in the strictest confidence, of course, this envelope contains certain material, which, in the wrong hands, could lead to the overthrow of my king.
Wow! Yes.
Your suspicions were all too accurate, Lieutenant.
Rahman Habib was not only a thief, but a traitor as well.
Well, the problem now is locating the balance of the $600,000.
Well, that's not the only question, sir.
There's something else that I've been wondering about.
Perhaps we'd better speak in my office, Lieutenant.
Yes, sir.
You were saying, Lieutenant? I was about to mention the $10,000.
What of it? Well, I have to verify, sir, whether this money actually came from the safe in the Legation.
I see.
I see.
You think perhaps Rahman saved it up on a code clerk's salary? Now really, Lieutenant.
Well, sir, the bills were not new and they were not sequential.
Lieutenant Columbo, there is a very simple method of determining the origins of the $10,000 on Habib's body.
If the money were intact, it would have, excuse me, a wrapper similar to this one.
Similarly, the stamp on the wrapper would also be the same, since all our banking is handled by one bank, International Trust.
Come to think of it, sir, there was a piece of paper just like this wrapped around the $10,000.
That's a good suggestion.
I should have thought of it myself.
Do you think, sir, I could have this wrapper to compare with the other one? Will there be anything else, Lieutenant? I don't want to take up any more of your time, sir.
There is something else, but I don't know where all that leads to just yet, so I'll just wander around.
Thank you very, very much, sir.
Lieutenant Columbo.
Please, do not feel that you're imposing.
I am a busy man, it's true, but as First Secretary of the Legation, I feel I have a certain responsibility.
Well, actually, sir, it was the glasses.
The glasses? Yes, sir, Mr.
Habib's eyeglasses.
He was wearing these when the police found him.
Well, that's hardly a revelation, Lieutenant.
Habib was virtually helpless without them.
But as it turns out, sir, he was also wearing these.
What are they? Contact lenses.
And the fellows at the lab tell me that anybody wearing both these prescriptions at the same time would be blind as a bat.
I was not aware that Rahman wore contact lenses.
Oh, I didn't think you were, sir.
This was found in his wallet.
An optometrist's business card.
The prescription for the contact lenses was written on the back.
He'd only been wearing them a week.
His regular glasses he kept in his pocket as a backup, until he got used to the contact lenses.
I see.
Then you suspect Murder.
That's right, sir.
Somebody had to place these glasses on Habib's body.
That's incredible.
Well, obviously, he was killed by the same revolutionary students who put him up to robbing the safe and murdering Youseff Alafa.
That same thought occurred to me, sir, but I couldn't figure out why they would do it.
Self-preservation, I would imagine.
Once Habib was apprehended, he could identify those who conspired with him.
You may have something there, sir.
I have to ask some questions here and there, but I don't want to take up any more of your time.
I'll just wander around.
You've been very helpful.
Don't mention it, Lieutenant.
The passport and the other documents were taken from this cabinet, Lieutenant.
Except that everybody had access to it.
So, Rahman Habib could have taken the passport.
I thought there was no question of that.
Well, that's the way it looks right now, Mr.
Kura.
By the way, now that you're the acting Security Chief, I guess you keep the records of the comings and goings of Legation personnel.
Where was Mr.
Salah last night between 8:30 and 10:30? Mr.
Salah? Oh, it's all right.
It's just a technicality.
A technical verification for the department.
Well, let me take a look.
Mr.
Salah was in his quarters last evening.
Never left the Legation? No, sir.
Thank you very much.
You've been very helpful.
That's all right.
I'll be able to find my own way.
I think.
Down with Hassan.
Where's your sign? Hmm? Oh, I don't have one.
Here, hold this.
You new? Oh, I never did this before in my life.
Well, we're glad to have you.
We can use all the help we can get.
You picket a lot? Every day after classes.
Then you must've been here the other day when all the action happened.
Oh, you mean the car crashing through the gate? You saw it? See it? I almost went along for the ride.
Crazy person.
Drove right at me.
You didn't happen to be picketing here last night, were you? Oh, yeah.
Yeah? Mmm-hmm.
Listen, you didn't notice a car come through the gate here between like, 8:00 or 9:00? No way.
It was dead here.
Nobody in, nobody out.
Nothing.
Why the big interest? I'm fuzz.
That's cool.
Hey! Hey! Hey! My sign! Down with Hassan.
General Colonel Anurov of Russia Salaam Alaikum.
The Russian delegation, Your Majesty.
How do you do, sir? I hope to meet you on Russian soil.
How do you do? Salaam Alaikum.
Of Ghana, the Minister of Ghana, Your Majesty.
How do you do? Ambassador of India.
Salaam Alaikum.
The Ambassador of India, Your Majesty.
Ah, yes, how are you, sir? My sympathy to your wife.
Monsieur.
The attaché from France.
Excuse me.
Lieutenant.
Lieutenant, please.
Now, you have chosen a rather awkward moment to visit, Lieutenant.
Yes, sir, I realize that, but it was very important that I talk to you.
Say, I was wondering if it wasrt be too much trouble, could I meet the King? This is His Majesty, Lieutenant.
I realize that this is not protocol, sir, but I would like to extend my personal welcome to the city.
Your Majesty, may I present Lieutenant Columbo of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Lieutenant, this is His Majesty, King Ahmed Kamal of Suari.
How nice to meet you, Lieutenant.
And very gracious of you to come.
Well, actually, sir, I'm on duty.
Are you in charge of security arrangements, Lieutenant? I know I'm something of a bother.
No.
You're no bother at all, sir.
I don't get to meet too many kings in my job.
Actually, sir, I'm with Homicide.
Homicide.
That is exciting.
The real thing.
Not what we see on your American TV shows, huh? This murder of Youseff Alafa, Lieutenant, was very tragic.
I knew the man very well.
Sir, in that regard, I realize you're a very busy man Excellency, the ministers are awaiting your presence in the reception room.
If I may be of service to the lieutenant Yes, of course.
Lieutenant, please call on me if I may be of any service to you.
Oh, thank you very much.
You will wait in the sitting room, Lieutenant.
A thousand pardons, Your Majesty, but the man is a simple man, the Lieutenant, and he is not used to our ways.
Yeah, but I like him, Hassan.
You say, "our ways," but you mean your ways.
The ways of your father and his father before him.
There is a place for tradition, Hassan.
But we must learn to live in this world as neighbors.
We cannot be blind to the changes happening all around us.
I understand, Your Majesty.
Lieutenant Columbo.
Lieutenant.
Hello.
Hello.
We meet again.
I've been looking for you.
His Majesty thought you might like something while you're waiting.
Oh.
His Majesty himself? Yes.
Well, that's very thoughtful for a busy man.
Imagine that.
Gee whiz.
You're sure it was His Majesty, not just an aide? Yes.
Oh.
Oh, it's very good.
Is this a Suarian delicacy? No.
I'm afraid not.
It's from the bakery around the corner.
Well, wherever it's from, it's very good.
I'm gonna have to be frank with you.
I'm starved.
I forgot to eat.
Well, if you're hungry, we have to feed you.
Come.
Rahman often did that, too.
He did what, madam? He forgot to eat.
Oh, you worked with him? Yes.
In the code room.
The code room? Oh, maybe you can help me.
On Wednesday, before he escaped from the Legation I understand that he worked in the code room.
That was the 23rd? Wednesday.
Wednesday the 23rd.
Yes, I remember.
Wednesday.
We were all there, five of us, until well past 4:00.
Do you happen to remember, did he use the phone around 2:30? Lieutenant, there is no telephone in the code room.
But I saw Mr.
Salah use one.
The yellow one on the wall.
Oh, no, no.
That's the tie line to the embassy in Washington.
There is no outside telephone line for security reasons.
We're sort of, prisoners in there.
Oh, I see.
That smells like beef.
Is that beef? I don't know.
I think it's beef.
That's beef.
Give it a taste.
Lieutenant "You mustrt touch anything.
What are you doing here?" Lieutenant.
Mr.
Salah, I'm sorry.
I'm in the way here.
No.
It's quite all right.
Would you like some of this? It is prepared expressly for the King.
Oh, I couldn't eat the King's food.
But you are a guest, Lieutenant.
And His Majesty is a gracious host.
Please.
Here.
You must try some of this.
Please.
I didn't realize that this was the King's food.
Thank you very much.
Delicious.
Thank you.
I guess I forgot how hungry I was.
It's a pleasure.
By the way, I checked out the wrapper.
You know, the one that was wrapped around the $10,000 that we found on Mr.
Habib? Yes, I remember, Lieutenant.
Wouldrt you be more comfortable sitting down? Lieutenant, would you excuse me, please? Thank you very much.
Anyway, it turns out that Mr.
Habib's $10,000 didn't come from your safe after all.
Now, you must be mistaken, Lieutenant.
Where would a minor clerk like Rahman Habib get $10,000, unless it was from the robbery? Well, I couldn't figure that out, either.
But there is no mistaking about the money that this wrapper was holding together.
You can see by the mark.
This is delicious.
Best I've ever tasted.
Of course, the fact is, I've never tasted Suarian food before.
Oh, you still have not.
His Majesty prefers French cuisine.
Those are petits escargots.
Escargots? Yes.
Snails.
But you mentioned a mark? Yes, sir.
You see, this is a bank teller's mark.
Now, the thing about this, sir, is that the teller that handled this particular transaction, he was working in another branch until the day after the robbery.
Do you follow my meaning? In other words, how could this money be in the safe, if it wasrt even handed out from the bank until the day following the robbery? Haricots verts bordelaise.
That looks like green beans.
In a special sauce.
Oh, thank you.
You know what I think, sir? I think Mr.
Habib was an innocent victim.
I really think that somebody planted that $10,000 on him to make him look guilty, and then killed him.
Now, that's quite a jump, Lieutenant.
For example, how do you explain the fact that Habib made a hotel reservation in New York, which he obviously never intended to keep? Oh, Mr.
Habib never made that reservation.
But the reservation was made.
We telephoned New York.
Yes, sir.
But Mr.
Habib couldn't have made that reservation.
Here, take a look at this telex.
This is a telex.
That was when the reservation was made.
On 2:30 of that day, Mr.
Habib was locked in the code room.
I checked on that.
So Mr.
Habib could not have made this reservation.
I see.
Do you have any idea who this other person could be? No.
Not really.
But I did find out something very interesting when I went to the bank.
What was that? That teller remembered that a great deal of money was withdrawn from the Suarian account on that day.
By me, Lieutenant.
Yes, sir.
Would you mind coming into my office? Not at all.
Thank you.
Thank you very much.
I assume this is the money you're talking about, Lieutenant.
If you'll notice, there is a withdrawal slip attached.
And if you care to check further, you will see that this money, intact to the very last dollar, has been designated to cover the King's expenses during his visit.
Now, if you're quite finished with your insinuations, I must attend the King.
Sir, I was not making any personal insinuations.
I'm All I'm saying is that somebody here at the Legation robbed the safe, killed Mr.
Alafa, and tried to pin it on Mr.
Habib.
What I would really like now, sir, is to be able to speak to some of the other people at the Legation.
Because with Mr.
Habib out of the running, I feel I have a big job in front of me.
At the moment, Lieutenant, I, too, have a big job facing me.
I see what you mean, sir.
Yes.
You are quite right.
This would be a very bad time to upset everybody, what with the King receiving all those diplomats.
Why don't I come back another time? Now, that is most tactful of you, Lieutenant.
You wanna see me? Come in.
Come in, Lieutenant.
Lieutenant Columbo, Mr.
Kermit Morgan of the State Department.
How do you do? Lieutenant.
Mr.
Morgan is with the Protocol Department, Columbo.
There's been a complaint lodged against you by the Saurian Legation.
A complaint of police harassment by First Secretary Hassan Salah.
The feeling expressed to me is that you've been indulging in a personal vendetta.
Well, there's no vendetta involved here.
Just trying to catch a man who murdered two Suarian nationals along with robbing the Legation of $600,000.
Yes, I'm sure, but you're working in delicate and apparently unfamiliar waters, Lieutenant.
You can't push around diplomatic personnel the way you would common criminals in the street.
Now, Mr.
Morgan It is in the best interest of our government if there are no further contacts between yourself and Secretary Salah.
Well, that's all very well and good, except for one thing.
What is that, Lieutenant? He's the murderer.
You have definite proof as to his guilt? Well, not exactly.
Well, I know one thing, Columbo.
You don't have a thing on Salah for that first murder.
I mean, he was right here in the Commissioner's office when it happened.
You and I, we were both witnesses to that fact.
That's true, sir.
Then it's the second murder you're talking about.
Yes.
And no.
I mean Look, it is true that according to the records at the Suarian Legation, Mr.
Salah was in his private headquarters at the time that Rahman Habib got killed.
In other words, Hassan Salah has ironclad alibis for both murders.
I know it looks that way Let me tell you something, Lieutenant.
Now, it may go against your grain, but it's reality right from the State Department, and we don't care if Salah is guilty or innocent.
We do care about our country's relations.
Now, under the circumstances, let me suggest that Let me strongly suggest that a letter of apology be drafted by Lieutenant Columbo and sent with all due speed to the Suarian Legation.
Even if he's guilty? Lieutenant, please understand.
We do not condone murder.
But we're in the midst of difficult negotiations with the Kingdom of Suari.
Your speculative investigation could undo months of delicate negotiating.
You understand? Yes, sir.
We all have our job to do.
So I'm gonna write that letter.
And not only that, I am gonna personally deliver this personal apology on behalf of myself and the department.
That's excellent.
I like a man who espouses the pragmatic view, Lieutenant.
Thank you, Captain.
Yes, sir.
What'd he say? Don't make waves.
What does it mean? What's what mean? What they're saying.
It means, "Long live the King.
" I thought they were against the King.
Against the King? No, no.
The King's young.
He's progressive.
But he's new to the throne, see? He doesn't realize how reactionary and tyrannical some of his government ministers are.
But he will.
Because we'll get through to him.
Oh, so they're for the King? Yeah, for the King! Say, that's a beautiful car.
That's fit for a king.
Is this the King's motorcar? No? Must be Mr.
Salah's car.
No.
Which one is his car? None of them.
His car in garage for repair.
I see.
What garage did you say that was? The City Garage.
Two block down.
They do all our repair work.
That's a honey.
Sir.
May I see your invitation? Actually, I don't have any.
Police, LAPD.
Police.
Lieutenant, good evening.
Oh, Mr.
Kura, do you think you could talk to this gentleman about letting me in? Nothing personal, Lieutenant, but I presume you're properly attired? Oh, I think so.
Yeah.
I think this is good.
My wife said something about striped pants, but I thought that was too much.
This is good.
It's a little big.
It's my brother-in-law's.
He's a waiter, but I don't see anybody else in striped pants.
Xenia, would you kindly escort the lieutenant to the gathering, please? Yes, I'd be delighted.
Shall we, Lieutenant? Would you take off your coat? Thank you very much.
Thank you.
So far I didn't see one pair of striped pants.
I beg your pardon? No, it's nothing.
I think that's in England.
She must've seen it in the movies.
Who? My wife.
She insisted I wear striped pants.
It's a good thing I didn't.
I'd be the only one here.
Where's the King? Oh, he's here.
You know what looks good? Those robes.
You think they look good? I mean, for a man? Oh, yes, I do.
Dignity.
What do they cost? I'm afraid I don't know.
How come the King doesn't wear one? It's not because he can't afford it.
I know that.
You seem to be interested in clothes.
Shoes.
These are new.
$16.
95.
Something to drink? Lieutenant? Thank you.
Good afternoon.
How nice to see you.
Good afternoon.
Nice to see you.
Lieutenant, may I present Ambassador and Mrs.
Mau Ling, the People's Republic of China.
How do you do? How do you do? Would you excuse me, please? I'm afraid I have something to attend to.
Of course.
Lieutenant.
This is a marvelous party.
Tell me, sir, is there something funny about this champagne? As champagne, the taste is very odd.
Indeed.
This is not champagne, young man.
This is fruit punch.
The Suarian people do not drink alcoholic beverage.
What a pity.
This is a magnificent job of decorating.
Mmm-hmm.
Look at that.
Yes.
Third century.
Indeed.
Extraordinary.
Beautiful.
Hey, hey.
It's quite all right here.
Long live the King! Lieutenant Columbo.
How delightful to see you again.
And how gracious of you to come.
Thank you very much.
You're not expecting a murder, I hope.
Not today, knock on wood.
Salah, I commend you on your choice of guests.
Your servant.
Your Majesty! Pardon me.
Ambassador, how are you? Just fine, sir.
How are you? Good to see you.
Good to see you.
Your presence here is a diplomatic affront.
If you do not leave the Legation in five minutes, I shall see that you are removed from the Los Angeles Police Department.
I've solved the murder, sir.
What? I think we should talk about it right away.
All right.
Follow me.
A cigar, sir? No, thank you.
You were saying something about having solved the murders, Lieutenant? I have a note.
"The safe was opened prior to its being blown.
"Mr.
Salah knew the combination.
" "The guard's rifle jammed, Mr.
Salah had the access to the gunroom.
" Yes.
I want you to know that I know that you couldn't have killed both those men and robbed the safe all by yourself.
What do you mean, all by myself? What I mean, sir, is that you planned and executed the robbery with somebody else's help.
Rahman Habib.
That is ridiculous.
No, it isn't.
Not only did you rob the safe, but you killed Youseff Alafa and Rahman Habib.
That is a ludicrous accusation, Lieutenant.
You seem to have forgotten that I was in the Commissioner's office, with you, at the time Alafa was killed.
Mr.
Alafa was dead before you left the Legation.
He was killed before you got to the Police Commissioner's office.
That is impossible, Lieutenant.
I spoke to him on the telephone at 3:55.
You were there.
He called me at the Commissioner's office.
No, he didn't.
Prior to the safe's being blown, which occurred at 4:00, we know that somebody in the executive office opened the safe and was taking out money and running around the place burning up documents.
Now, how could a security man call you on the telephone and calmly report to you at the same time that the safe was being looted? It's really very simple, Lieutenant.
Mr.
Alafa was not in the executive office where the safe was.
He telephoned me from his office.
How do you know? He told me on the telephone.
I think you're lying.
You're entitled to your opinion.
I don't believe he called you from his office because of the coffee cup.
A cup of coffee? It was still on the desk, filled with cold coffee.
I fail to see the point.
He brought the coffee into his office at 3:15 and never drank it.
Why? Because he was called away and he never came back.
That filled cup of cold coffee tells me that he could not have been in his office at the time of the telephone call.
I'll tell you what happened.
Please do.
At 3:15, you called him into the executive office and you murdered him.
He was dead before you left the Legation.
At 3:55, you staged this phony telephone conversation with this Habib guy and that provided you with an alibi.
You're a zealous man, Lieutenant.
But you seem to be ignoring the reality of the situation.
You haven't a single shred of evidence against me.
At 10:00 tomorrow morning, our King Ahmed Kamal leaves for our capital in Suari.
The moment that he leaves, Lieutenant, I shall initiate a formal protest to your government regarding this insulting and groundless accusation.
Lieutenant Columbo is in violation of Suarian territory.
Oh, sir, just one thing I forgot.
One more thing, sir.
What is it? My official apology.
Safe journey, Your Majesty.
May Allah protect you.
You were a most gracious host, Hassan.
Thank you, Your Majesty.
There is something of the father in the son, eh, Hassan? There is something of the father in many of us, Hajj.
But the throne makes the man.
Not the blood.
You are persistent, Lieutenant.
They won't let me in, sir.
They say I'm a person not Persona non grata.
You are not welcome.
At my orders.
Yes, sir, about that.
I got to thinking about what you said about lodging a protest to my government about me.
You see, sir, I was only doing my job.
If you could give me three minutes, I would like to apologize.
You see, sir, I could get fired.
You may pass.
Thank you, sir.
I appreciate that.
I must say, sir, this is very nice of you.
Nonsense.
But you were saying you're apprehensive about your employment, is that it? I beg you not to send a letter to the State Department.
I apologize, but more than anything else, sir, I wanna shake your hand.
You're the best.
To what do I owe this tribute? You beat me.
That's it.
I got beat, plain and simple.
True.
I know you did it, but Well, you can't win them all, sir.
You're very gracious, Lieutenant.
Thank you.
But let's face it, you never did have much of a case.
No.
Mostly it was circumstantial, I agree.
Even the car being moved.
Moved? Listen, I don't wanna get into the whole thing because even if I could prove it, I couldn't touch you.
No, no, no, no, no, no.
It's because of the diplomatic immunity.
It You could, but it would be difficult.
Wort you have some tea, please? About the letter to the State Department, sir.
Oh, triviality.
Consider it forgotten.
But, please, you were talking about the car.
Yes, sir.
You have the Legation staff cars serviced at a gasoline station three blocks from here.
I checked on that.
The mechanic noticed that the car was moved the other night.
That's how you were able to get to Canyon Road to meet Habib and kill him.
Did I? I confirmed that this morning.
They changed the oil late in the day and the mileage was noted.
But the next morning there were 34 additional miles.
Amazing.
So, I drove my own car from the gasoline station to the point that Habib had been killed and back to the gasoline station.
It measured 34 miles.
Lieutenant, my compliments.
Your persistence is simply not to be believed.
Picking and scratching until you have finally uncovered the mosaic.
Cheers.
It wasrt easy.
I gotta hand you that.
One thing I don't understand, sir.
Why did you do it? Well, the struggle for power within my country is none of your concern, Lieutenant.
Your business is murder.
And as you said, this is one murder that must remain one of your failures.
But, do not despair, Lieutenant.
Do not despair.
You have unraveled the puzzle.
Accept it, and let it be.
I got the feeling that you wouldn't be so expansive, you wouldn't be so quick to admit all this, if you didn't have diplomatic immunity.
Perhaps so, Lieutenant, but the fact is, I do have diplomatic immunity.
Quite so, Hassan Salah.
Yes, Hassan.
You saw the aircraft depart, huh? But it departed without me, at the suggestion of my friend, Lieutenant Columbo.
A helicopter brought me back here ahead of you.
By tomorrow, Salah, you will be in Suari and subject to Suarian justice.
You wanted to arrest me earlier, Lieutenant.
I hereby renounce my diplomatic immunity.
I submit to your arrest.
Well, I would like to, but it's like you said to the fellow from the State Department, sir.
This is an international thing.
I don't wanna make waves.
Maybe justice would be better served back in Suari.
Thank you very much, sir.
Nice meeting you.
Likewise, Lieutenant.
This is not justice.
This is barbarism.
Lieutenant! I beg you.
The trouble, sir, is that you're right.
That it's All the evidence is circumstantial.
It's just bits and pieces.
I don't think any of it is gonna stand up in court.
A confession! If I signed a confession.
Well, I'm not sure.
Your Majesty? I shall abide by your decision, Lieutenant.
Well, in that case, just sign by the red "X", sir.
Three copies, if you don't mind.
You wanna read it? I'm sure I know what it says, Lieutenant.
I am your prisoner.
Officer! Hassan, a word of warning.
Should you decide to repudiate your confession, we shall be waiting to welcome you home.