Memogate: Ijaz to record statement via video link

Published: February 10, 2012
The Memogate commission will resume its hearing today.

The Memogate commission will resume its hearing today.

ISLAMABAD: The Memogate commission, while getting a short order penned down on Friday, decided that Mansoor Ijaz’s statement will be recorded via video link from Pakistan High Commission in London.

The head of the commission, Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa of Balochistan High Court said Ijaz would go to the Pakistani High Commission to have his statement recorded.

“The commission has decided to record the statement of Ijaz through video link on February 22 at 2:00pm,” Ijaz’s counsel Akram Sheikh told AFP.

“It is an important development in this case. The court has accepted my request. We want the people should know what the truth is,” Sheikh said.

The commission will carry out its proceedings in the Islamabad High Court while only the commission’s secretary will go to London in order to collect evidence, including BlackBerries, other devices and forensic material.

Lawyers in Islamabad will cross-examine the video conference.

Former ambassador Husain Haqqani’s counsel Zahid Bukhari strongly opposed the commission’s decision saying that it will create a prejudice if, in the future, his client is not allowed to have his statement recorded via video conferencing in America.

Justice Isa also said that if any lawyer wants to go to London on his own expense, then the court does not have any reservations on it.

Earlier today, the government of Pakistan wrote a letter to the BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) requesting for data from the handsets allegedly used by Mansoor Ijaz and former ambassador Husain Haqqani.

Bukhari told the commission that United States courts have registered four cases against Ijaz and said that he cannot enter the US which is why he keeps requesting the court to have his statement recorded in either London or Zurich.

Barrister Zafarullah said that Ijaz will “never appear before the commission,” adding that the commission should not go abroad in order to have his statement recorded.

He further said that the commission should concentrate on the secondary evidences – papers and documents submitted to the court – and base its verdict on it.

Currently, two applications have been presented before the commission. The first one by Ijaz’s counsel Akram Sheikh, requesting the commission to go abroad to record Ijaz’s statements, and the second one by Bukhari to abolish Ijaz’s right to record his statement as a witness in the case.

Bukhari said that this should be done because Ijaz has, time and again, refused to record his statement.

Justice Isa said that his statement could be recorded via video link as well.

Barrister Zafarullah and Sheikh were seen exchanging harsh words on the premises of IHC during the break, Express News reported.

Sheikh told Barrister Zafarullah that he “should talk like a barrister.” Reacting to Sheikh’s remark, Barrister Zafarullah said, “You [Sheikh] are not even a barrister and call yourself one. You lie about it.”

‘Mansoor Ijaz is mocking the country’

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar has reacted sharply to allowing Ijaz to record a video statement.

“He is mocking the country and must not be given so much importance,” Mukhtar told reporters at the Lahore airport on Friday.

Supporting what he called was Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s silence on Memogate, he said that PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif had realised that Memogate is not based on facts and is simply a waste of time. “At the start of the issue, he [Nawaz] moved the court but once he learnt the facts of the case, he preferred to remain silent. He has done well by going to London instead of appearing before the [Memogate probe] commission again.”

Speaking on the contempt of court case against the prime minister, he said that if Gilani has announced that he will appear before the court, then he will definitely do so on February 13. “Jail is not something strange for the premier. He has served a five-year sentence already. If asked, he will again serve a sentence.”

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Reader Comments (27)

  • Justice
    Feb 10, 2012 - 10:43AM

    Making an international joke of judicial system in Pakistan!


  • Ramzan Ali
    Feb 10, 2012 - 11:03AM

    Dear Chief Justice & Team,

    Kindly forget this MEMOGATE CASE………. stop wasting your time & check for other options…..


  • hammad
    Feb 10, 2012 - 11:30AM

    I’m so glad Husain Haqqani left Pakistan safely. Finally the establishment realized they were backing the wrong horse and they couldn’t possibly frame HH.


  • Feb 10, 2012 - 12:06PM

    Very Good! Now we’ll see who is who once the record is obtained!


  • adnan
    Feb 10, 2012 - 12:15PM

    whole world and specially mansoor ejaz will be laughing at pakistan courts that they have so much free time to run after such issues


  • riaz
    Feb 10, 2012 - 12:19PM

    All relevant quarters have made fool of us by keeping busy in memo / Abbotabad Ops / NRO / contempt of court etc. No body is addressing real issues jobs / security / inflation etc. Good job all politicians……..


  • Baba Ji
    Feb 10, 2012 - 12:42PM

    Do we have any REAL work to do in Pakistan ?


  • Anserali Khan
    Feb 10, 2012 - 1:45PM

    This is a very positive step and will serve the ends of justice.

    Now that Hussain Haqani is in US,he must have found his BlackBerry(s) which he claims he left back in USA.He should turn them in to the Commission. He should also ask RIM to turn in his BB data to the Commission


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Feb 10, 2012 - 1:53PM

    Why we want that the world should laugh at Pakistan just due to one reason that Mansoor Ejaz is an American and that is one of the reasons that he does not want to come to Pakistan to appear before the judicial commission.

    Would US court will do the same thing is a Pakistani is wanted to record his statment in US?

    We must stop saying ‘YES SIR” to the Americans any more.

    Mansoor Ejaz is not an angle sent on earth from Al-Mighty Allah and is not allowed to come to Pakistan.


  • Muhammad
    Feb 10, 2012 - 1:58PM

    so will now all Pakistanis Have a right to record statement via Video Link.
    Hundreds of Pakistani are killed inside of the lower court premisis.

    Or will the law as usuall be differnt for us Pakistanis?

    Are we expendible? Do we come for free?

    Is the blood of Mansoor Ijaz more valuable then the blood of Pakistanis?

    The law MUST gave everyone an equal oppertunity.


    Feb 10, 2012 - 2:00PM

    Why cant the video link be used in Pakistan ??? Oh the commission members will miss out a free expense paid trip if the video link is used in Pakistan!!!


  • Fareed
    Feb 10, 2012 - 2:01PM

    I wonder all those comments in favour of Hussain Haqqani :

    Is it Hussain Haqqanis media team who is writing them?
    Is it Hussain Haqqani himself, he has lots of time now? :)
    Or is it done by some content outsourcing team from a Asia ? :)

    I don’t say Mansoor Ijaz is right and HH is wrong. I just say, if there is some possibility to get to the reality of this matter why not avail it. If Mansoor Ijaz is wrong he will make himself a fool in front of the video conference.

    All those writing in favour of HH, please, leave it, its too obvious.


  • Malik Tariq
    Feb 10, 2012 - 2:31PM

    Information media has really developed in the world and it is about time such evidences be recorded on video link. You have to ensure that such a statement is recorded not under duress in a credible surrounding with some sort of steps taken to ensure that the witness is not under pressure. Help could be obtained from judicial process in the state where such evidence is being recorded. The Commission had no choice given the threats given by everybody from PM to Minister For Interior, MNAs and MPAs of ruling party to Mansoor Ijaz. It would serve cause of justice if evidence is recorded on video links in other cases where witnesses hesitate to appear against criminals, terrorists and religious fanatics out of fear for their lives, escpecially when the state has no witness protection system.,,,


  • Feb 10, 2012 - 2:51PM

    Close this Drama please


  • Pashtun voice
    Feb 10, 2012 - 2:52PM

    I am sick and tired of this memogate saga


  • Dr Sahib (PIA)
    Feb 10, 2012 - 3:20PM

    Former ambassador Husain Haqqani’s counsel strongly opposed the commission’s decision saying that it will create a prejudice if, in the future, his client is not allowed to have his statement recorded via video conferencing in America.


  • Chacha
    Feb 10, 2012 - 3:53PM

    If video conferencing is allowed, then perhaps Kasab’s statement too should be allowed for the trail of Lakhvi and Hafiz Saeed ? All the time there has been the legal point that kasab needs to give his deposition to come to pakistan, well now we can see thatb is no longer required ?


  • Akhtar
    Feb 10, 2012 - 4:05PM

    So, in future, all court cases will be conducted via video link in Pakistan! A wonderful precedence is being set. But will the future jail sentence will also be served inabsentia? That is, someone sits at home in a room because the jails are not safe? Our justice system is a big joke!


  • Feb 10, 2012 - 4:29PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    Contact me i want to talk with u about something


  • Cautious
    Feb 10, 2012 - 4:37PM

    This could get really interesting – since he won’t be in Pakistan it’s possible that Ijaz may say somethings that maybe highly embarrassing to the military and indirectly discredit the SC itself. Perhaps they should provide a live feed to the public – that might make the establishment nervous and put an end to this whole witch hunt.


  • watchdog
    Feb 10, 2012 - 4:48PM

    It was Abraham Lincoln who wises us by saying that you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people for some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.Mansoor and Haqqani are the chip of the old blocks;one is a former Pakistani citizen who dabbles in our affairs to protect US interests;the other is an aspirant to be a US citizen to prove his loyalty to his intended motherland he dabbles in our affairs to protect US interests.A small difference though is that he wants Pakistani tax payers to foot his bill.

    Isn’t high time that we forget both of them as washouts and instead concentrate on seeking resolutions of our core issues of poverty,ill-literacy,burgeoning population growth and insecurity of our citizenry due to poor law and order situation.


  • Waqas
    Feb 10, 2012 - 4:57PM

    It will drag memo case into another dimension with no concrete conclusion. I believe all the parties have reached an agreement. Otherwise HH wouldhave not allowed to leave Pakistan at first place. It will remain another unsolve mystery.


  • humaira
    Feb 10, 2012 - 7:00PM

    this is soap opera …………….


  • Seema Shaikh
    Feb 10, 2012 - 9:01PM

    Now this is just a another try for face saving and the mud is now slinging back on establishment Nawaz and independent judiciary. This case will remain unsolved, but our judiciary and media will haunt hussain haqani for nothing, Like old politically motivated cases against Zardari still haunt him, our lordship the C J could not bring a single conviction in any case. These are just tactics of establishment in the collaboration of judiciary to hunt PPP men, Recommend

  • nnk
    Feb 11, 2012 - 4:16AM

    The case must be taken to its logical conclusion. Lets give everyone a fair chance. Let the evidence come through any means and leave it to the Commission to decide who is wrong and who is right.


  • Vagabond
    Feb 11, 2012 - 4:17AM

    Chief, get a life


  • Aftab kenneth Wilson
    Feb 11, 2012 - 9:44AM

    There is an old saying “Look Busy Do Nothing”. We have a latest version of F-16 who is heading our SC as a Squadron Leader and is bent upon to bomb out all which is left within our system. The whole world ls laughing at us and the judiciary whom many consider as saviors though this lot is other way around.


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