Ijaz appeals to Pak SC to record his statement abroad
Last Updated: Saturday, January 28, 2012, 21:12
Islamabad: Citing security concerns, Mansoor Ijaz, the central character in the memo scandal, on Saturday asked the Supreme Court to allow him to record his statement before a judicial commission outside Pakistan.

Ijaz's lawyer Akram Sheikh filed the request in the apex court this afternoon, officials said.

Sheikh contended that the Supreme Court-appointed commission should be allowed to travel abroad and record Ijaz's testimony in some other country.

Sheikh claimed a "deal" had been struck with the US by Pakistan's government and security establishment to sweep the scandal under the carpet.

He gave no information to support his claim. He further claimed that Ijaz feared he might be arrested on false charges or that evidence about the memo scandal might be taken away from him when he comes to Pakistan.

Ijaz has failed to make two scheduled appearances before the judicial commission, which has given him a final opportunity to come to Islamabad and record his statement on February 9.

The commission has turned down Ijaz's request for his testimony to be recorded in London or Zurich.

The Pakistan-American businessman earlier cited security concerns as his reason for not coming to Pakistan, even though the government has said foolproof arrangements have been put in place to protect him.

Ijaz has also been summoned on February 10 by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, which too is investigating the mysterious memo that sought US help to stave off a feared military takeover in Pakistan last year.

Ijaz claimed he wrote and delivered the memo to the US military on the instructions of Pakistan’s former envoy to the US, Husain Haqqani.

His claim has been dismissed by the government. In a related development, the judicial commission has requested the Supreme Court to give it an extension so that it can complete its investigation.

The commission's secretary filed an application in the apex court seeking more time.

The commission said Ijaz, the central character in the scandal, had not come to Pakistan to record his statement and the apex court should give it more time to investigate the issue.

The Supreme Court had directed the commission to complete its work by January 30.

A larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is expected to take up the commission?s application on Monday.

Sheikh's application is expected to be taken up at the same time.


First Published: Saturday, January 28, 2012, 21:12

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