The judicial commission probing the Memogate case on Saturday issued directives to the secretary of the commission to travel to London to conduct forensic tests of Mansoor Ijaz’s BlackBerry that was allegedly used in the preparation of the controversial memo.
After three days of consecutive proceedings of the commission headed by Justice Qazi Faez Esa at the Islamabad High Court (IHC), the panel directed its secretary Raja Jawad Abbas to travel to London for the forensic examination of the cell phone in question.
It was further revealed that a forensic expert will carry out the test without any interference of the involved parties and the report would be in “simple language along with an affidavit”.
It was established that the secretary may also request the Supreme Court to grant another extension to the judicial commission, since there was no clarity as to how long the expert could take to compile the forensic report.
Meanwhile, former ambassador Husain Haqqani’s counsel Sajid Tanoli opposed the order of forensic examination, contending that it should have been conducted during Ijaz’s cross-examination in London. However, the commission rejected his request.
The commission also rejected Tanoli’s application in which he sought to enter into the case record some documents including a reply from Research In Motion (RIM) and an additional medical certificate — on the grounds that they were unsigned and not original documents.
Earlier, Ijaz’s counsel Akram Sheikh said that his client – the self-confessed whistleblower – was still willing to provide his BlackBerry phone to the commission; however he claimed that Haqqani had filed for damages against his clients in the US.
He added that the BlackBerry set was needed for his defence in the damages suit in the US and if he provides them for the forensic examination,
he would not have any defence evidence for the defamation case.
On the other hand, Haqqani’s counsel said he was unaware of any legal notices served to Ijaz in the US on his client’s behalf.
On last day of the hearing, legal representatives of both the parties involved completed their arguments and Zahid Bukhari, another counsel for Haqqani, summed up his arguments saying that Ijaz’s character was not reliable and the memo scandal was as a conspiracy hatched against Pakistan.
Bukhari in his arguments said that the entire episode was based on Ijaz’s statements, who could not prove anything substantial.
He said, “Mr Iajz is a dubious man who himself confessed that he had links with over two dozen intelligence agencies of the world”.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2012.