Hussain Haqqani once again failed to appear before the judicial commission hearing the Memogate case, irking judges who rejected his adjournment application.
The former ambassador’s attorney, Zahid Bukhari, requested that the commission’s hearing be adjourned until the Supreme Court takes up the case on April 20. He also argued that his client could not appear before the commission because he was abroad.
The argument was brushed aside by commission head and Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa. “We have given enough time and we hope that he (Haqqani) ensures his presence at the next hearing and records his statement,” he said. “Haqqani had been told in no uncertain terms at the last hearing that he would have to show up for Thursday’s hearing.”
While submitting Haqqani’s medical certificates, Bukhari told the commission that his client’s statement was important and again suggested that they either wait for the SC’s order or record Haqqani’s statement in Washington DC.
The commission further directed him to submit full details of his property by the next hearing on April 26 and also ordered the government to make a list of Haqqani’s property details for the judicial commission.
Earlier, Bukhari informed the court that his client has formally written to BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) to waive his privacy and access his account to extract records of his conversations with Mansoor Ijaz, the self-proclaimed whistle-blower of the Memogate scandal.
Bukhari said his client is awaiting a response from the company. “Either they will reply to me or to my client.” The commission directed him to submit RIM’s reply to the secretary of the judicial commission.
Meanwhile, Ijaz’s counsel argued that Haqqani had routinely flouted the commission’s orders and was not attending the hearing so his right of audience should no longer be granted.
Justice Isa then asked Bukhari to submit a reply by the next hearing.
Separately, Foreign Office American Desk Director-General Dr Sohail Khan said he has not received a report from the Pakistan Embassy in Washington DC on the mobile phone sets that Haqqani was using while he was ambassador.
On this, Justice Qazi Isa asked Sohail: “Are you here to play games with the commission? You are the director and you do not know anything about the issue.”
Meanwhile, the commission called Foreign Office secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and asked him to explain the use of secret funds by the ambassador. He briefed the commission behind closed doors. Later, the commission asked the secretary to submit details in confidential envelopes, which would later be returned to him.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.
Haqqani's written response submitted to commission is viewable here.
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