Larger bench formed for Memogate

Bench consists of nine members and is headed by the chief justice himself.

Qaiser Zulfiqar June 12, 2012


Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Monday constituted a nine-member bench to resume hearing of the Memogate scandal on Tuesday.

It would be headed by the chief justice himself and include Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Jawad S Khwaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Tariq Parvez, Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry and Justice Azmat Saeed.

A three-member judicial commission, headed by the Chief Justice Balochistan High Court Qazi Faez Isa and comprising chief justices of the Sindh and Balochistan high courts, had earlier finalised its report regarding the issue on June 11.

During the course of investigations, the case’s central character Mansoor Ijaz, had recorded his testimony from the office of the Pakistan High Commission in London via a video link, handing over the evidence to the commission’s secretary Raja Jawad.

Former ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani, who allegedly dictated the contents of the memo to Mansoor Ijaz for delivering it to former US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, did not hand over his BlackBerry set to the commission.

Interestingly, Zahid Bukhari, currently representing the real-estate tycoon Malik Riaz in the ‘Familygate’ case, was also Haqqani’s counsel.

Bukhari had also boycotted the proceedings of the commission accusing the commission’s head, Justice Isa, of being biased against his client.

During the last hearing, the commission had directed the foreign office secretary to brief it about the funds Haqqani had used during his tenure.

Ijaz’s counsel Akram Sheikh had alleged Haqqani had received $7 million in secret funds during his tenure as an ambassador to the US.

The scandal started when Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed last year of having received a message from Haqqani to deliver a confidential memo to Admiral Mike Mullen, regarding a possible military takeover.

Published In The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2012.


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