Mansoor Ijaz testimony: Haqqani's lawyer receives UK visa 'too late'

Published: February 21, 2012

Zahid Bukhari says it will be impossible to accompany judicial commission panel to London to record Ijaz's statement. PHOTO: ONLINE/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: Despite receiving his UK visa on Tuesday, Zahid Bukhari, counsel of former ambassador to US Husain Haqqani, will not be able to join the judicial commission panel in London during Mansoor Ijaz’s testimony.

According to Bukhari, the call to collect his visa came so late that it was impossible for him to reach London at the time of recording of Ijaz’s statements. Bukhari, who expressed his desire of being personally present during the recording, said that the British High Commission asked him to collect his visa at 2pm today, which is exactly 24-hours away from the statement being recorded.

Ijaz’s statements will be recorded at the Pakistan High Commission at 2pm (PST) on February 22 (Wednesday).

The lawyer also said that he will put forward his complaint before the judicial commission in tomorrow’s hearing.

Ijaz was summoned several times by the judicial commission probing the Memogate scandal, but the Pakistani-American businessman refused to come to Pakistan over security concerns. A judicial panel was formed to record his statements in London, while the bench will monitor the statements and cross-question him via video link in Islamabad.

Petitioner Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer Rasheed A Rizvi will be accompanying secretary of judicial commission Raja Jawad Abbas in London.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • vaqar
    Feb 21, 2012 - 12:28PM

    What exactly will be the basis of his complaint? Is the Britishh High Commision under the court’s jurisdiction? This man is such a whinger!!!

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  • Usman
    Feb 21, 2012 - 12:47PM

    So whats the issue, 24 hrs is more then enough time to reach London from Pakistan.

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  • MarkH
    Feb 21, 2012 - 1:12PM

    @vaqar:
    The basis is that they’re excluding the legal counsel of one of those involved. They’re usually considered to have the right to be there. I don’t know or really care if the delay was intentional or bad luck. However, it can even lead to the validity of the testimony being questioned. The accuser has a large advantage if the defense’s legal counsel is not present. They can’t say for certain they have the exact same information/evidence to build their defense upon. It’s almost begging for a conspiracy claim.

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  • Zak
    Feb 21, 2012 - 1:59PM

    He can even leave now in few hours and make it! Liar! I travel often and it’s only 7 hours away. It’s 5 hours back in London so time is not a problem! Recommend

  • A Pirzada
    Feb 21, 2012 - 2:09PM

    Conspiracy !!!
    Now England is also part of the Memogate conspiracy. They deliberately delayed the visa.

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  • Difa e Pakistan
    Feb 21, 2012 - 2:42PM

    @Waqar,

    High Commission in London is under jurisdiction of SC, as it is part of Pakistan territory. Evidence recorded in absence of Haqqani’s lawyers would be useless.

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  • Frustrated
    Feb 21, 2012 - 2:43PM

    … as a top class lawyer, how could he have allowed his visa management to let him down? The whiner has no excuse, he should have known how long it takes to het visas and ought to have pointed it out upfront when the hearing dates were being set! Also, it is quite practical in such cases to have a local lawyer represent / stand in for him …

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  • Neha Khan
    Feb 21, 2012 - 2:59PM

    @Usman and @Zak

    It surely is a less than eight hours travel but given there is a flight/seat available. Or do you mean that he should charter a plane to reach London? I ‘travel often’ too and know that airlines don’t schedule their flights according to my plans/needs :)

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  • Chankya
    Feb 21, 2012 - 3:10PM

    Vaqar, you are right. What is the need for him to interrogate MI when his client HH has already left the country NEVER to return ?Recommend

  • Vaqar - UK
    Feb 21, 2012 - 4:30PM

    @MarkH

    Utter nonsense. Bokhari is trying to imply it’s a conspiracy, that the visa was delayed. As for cross examination – if the court can hear the witness on video link, I am sure Bokhari can cross examine on video link as well.

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  • Cautious
    Feb 21, 2012 - 5:14PM

    The SC should determine whether his statements are accurate and that he did in fact apply for a visa on a timely basis — if so – then the proceedings should be delayed. If it is determined the attorney dragged his feet then he should be disbarred and the proceedings should continue on as planned. Lastly — the SC likes to micromanage things but it’s apparent they don’t do a very good job at it — someone should have been monitoring whether this process was finally moving ahead as scheduled.

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  • Feb 21, 2012 - 5:30PM

    Please leave this issue aside, The courts and military should have spend this time on other serious issues

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  • vaqar
    Feb 21, 2012 - 5:54PM

    @Difa e Pakistan.

    read my post again .what I said balls back the british high commission is not under the cor
    Urt jirisdiction to issue visas on request. I was not mentioning Pakistan High Commission in UK.

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  • Zak
    Feb 21, 2012 - 6:18PM

    JuSt checked 9 seats still available to London! There you go seats are available, times are available! he was trying to be cunning. He would have made it! If it was his visit of personal importance I cam assure you the government would have got his visa in 3 days max! Please try and understand if the government requests for a visa at an emergency level it is given!

    I can’t believe that people are happy with metric the trial just go! It is such an important issue!

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  • Elhaan Khan
    Feb 21, 2012 - 7:39PM

    Punjabi Army, Mullahs and Judiciary won’t let this country become a National Welfare state. I wish Memogate came into affect to control this scared cow has destroyed Pakistan and we might see another disintegration of this federation if Punjab keeps on going with National Security State concept.Recommend

  • Vaqar - UK
    Feb 21, 2012 - 11:30PM

    @Elhaan Khan.

    Don’t be an idiot and create divisions. We are all one nation. Thank God for the Judiciary otherwise the country would already have been sold.

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  • ayesha
    Feb 22, 2012 - 8:51PM

    @Usman: “So whats the issue, 24 hrs is more then enough time to reach London from Pakistan”

    Not sure if he owns any chartered flights. Otherwise, there may not be a flight from Pakistan that he is able to take which would allow him to reach timely.

    @vaqar : “What exactly will be the basis of his complaint? Is the Britishh High Commision under the court’s jurisdiction?”

    No the basis of the complaint can be that the commission hearing that were postponed so many times to accomodate Ijaz, could not be postponed even once to accommodate Haqqani’s lawyer. It is a legitimate expectation of Haqqani to have his lawyer preent when testimony against him is given and also get a chance to cross-examine. He has been denied tha oportunity by this ‘azaad’ adlia.

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  • Mehvish
    Feb 23, 2012 - 8:47PM

    Defense counsel, in every criminal case has right to cross examination.
    any lawyer, has been appointed on behalf of accused, has legal and constitutional right to put question to complainant and witnesses at the time of testimony. As the news relating to the memo gate reveal that Zahid Bukhari defense counsel of Hussain Haqqani not granted permission to cross examine the testimony of star witness in the case. Legal requirement must be fulfilled, it is indispensable for justice. Memo commission is giving a strong element of biasness towards Hussain Haqqani. This is not fair at all.Recommend

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