We use this proverb in this type of conversation:

Dad: Did you read today?

Son: Yes, Dad.

Dad: Did my son read today?

Mom: Yes, he did.

Dad: For cat, the rat is the witness.

Mom: Oh, come on! I swear, he really read it.

What is the English equivalent to the Telugu proverb:

For cat, the rat is the witness

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    Does this saying imply that the witness is not believable? The Mom's last reply indicates this, but a rat would normally not help a cat (cats eat them, right?), so it would be more believable, not less, when it says something that helps the cat. – Lawrence Feb 21 '16 at 12:30
  • What is your question? – user140086 Feb 21 '16 at 12:40
  • Hi, take a look at this similar question and see if that helps. – Mynamite Feb 21 '16 at 12:44
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    See this recent request for an English proverb. The Persian proverb is clearly explained and well translated. I don't you have translated your country's proverb in clear English. It sounds very awkward. Perhaps you meant to say "Only the rat can testify for the cat" or words similar. – Mari-Lou A Feb 21 '16 at 13:28
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    For those who're wondering what this expression is all about- It is said when someone doesn't believe what the other(s) is(are) saying and treats them as partners in crime. In OP's sample conversation between father. mother and son, the father believes that the mother is also lying to protect her son, saying that he's completed his studies. The father refuses to buy this and tells - "It's like the rat being witness to the cat". You can trust neither. – BiscuitBoy Feb 22 '16 at 17:03

If the point to be conveyed is that certain witnesses are inherently unreliable, I don't think English has any saying as pungent as this one from Iran, quoted in a UN press release (March 18, 1997):

Bozorghmer Ziaran (Iran) said the statement by the representative of Israel citing a United States Department of State report was aimed at diverting public opinion from Israel. As an Iranian proverb said, "a thief always calls a thief as his witness".

Turning from sayings focused on perjured defense of an accused person to sayings focused on false accusation of an innocent person, however, we have this saying from Nathaniel Ames, Almanacs (1752), cited in Bartlett Whiting, Early American Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases (1977):

A thousand such Witnesses are not sufficient to hang a Dog.

Variants of this saying have appeared in Google Books titles from 1844, 1856, 1908, and 2013, as well as a second one from 2013 that quoted the defense attorney for several people swept up in the dragnet following the Lincoln assassination in 1865 and put on trial as conspirators later that year.

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    Hi, Sven. The question on ELL about childs was migrated back to ELU at the request of @deadrat in Meta post. I think it would be better if you could copy and past your answer on ELL to ELU for future users. Thanks. – user140086 Feb 23 '16 at 12:09

For cat the rat is the witness

is based on the idea that a cat is a higher, more trusted, animal than a rat.

If the father didn't believe his son in the first place, he didn't believe him any more just because his mother corroborated his story. If we don't trust the cat, we won't believe the rat.

We could say

If I don't believe him, why should I believe you?

but said to one's wife this could lead to domestic disturbances.

Another phrase, which indicates that the last statement has added nothing to our knowledge is

I'm no wiser than before

which in that context would indicate that he has no more confidence that his son did his reading now, after his wife had spoken, than he did before she had spoken.

This can also be phrased:

I'm as wise as ever.

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