In the wake of Anwar Ibrahim's accusation that he was beaten in custody, there were signs yesterday of a move to distance Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad from any possibly unlawful police action. Police announced that an officer from outside Kuala Lumpur would be brought in to head a team probing the sacked deputy prime minister's allegation. Anwar appeared in court this week bruised and with a black eye. A doctor who examined him backed his claim that he was assaulted while in police custody. The announcement that Mat Zain, chief of the Malacca state CID, would head the investigating team followed Dr Mahathir's statement on Thursday that the Government would not tolerate any unlawful police action. On Wednesday he raised the possibility that Anwar's wounds could have been self-inflicted. Yesterday, the New Straits Times published an article reporting that under a section of the Internal Security Act - the law used to arrest Anwar - the police did not need to inform the Home Minister at every stage of their investigations and actions taken against detainees. Dr Mahathir is the Home Minister as well as Prime Minister.