Virgil "the Turk" Sollozzo was a powerfully built, medium sized man of dark complexion who could have been taken for a true Turk. He had a scimitar of a nose and cruel black eyes.
Sonny Corleone met him at the door and brought him into the office where Hagen and the Don waited. Hagen thought he had never seen a more dangerous-looking man except for Luca Brasi.
There were polite handshakings all around. If the Don ever asks me if this man has balls, I would have to answer yes, Hagen thought.
I have a question about the sentence that I emphasize. As far as I've understood it expresses what Hagen would have to answer if the Don asks him. But I don't understand why the present simple is used instead of the the past simple.
M. Swan says
special tenses can also be used to give an idea that something is unlikely, imaginary or untrue.
If I married you we would both be unhappy