Memogate: Haqqani`s plea to depose via video link denied

Last Updated: Monday, March 26, 2012 - 18:18

Islamabad: A judicial commission probing a
mysterious memo that sought US help to stave off a military
coup in Pakistan on Monday rejected former envoy Husain Haqqani`s
plea to testify via video link from London.

The three-judge commission appointed by the Supreme Court
adjourned the hearing till tomorrow after turning down
Haqqani`s request.

The former Ambassador to the US, who is currently outside
Pakistan, has filed an appeal in the apex court to be allowed
to depose via a video link.

During the hearing, the commission asked Haqqani`s
counsel Zahid Bukhari why his client had not appeared before
the panel despite being summoned today.

Bukhari said Haqqani faced a threat from intelligence
agencies which have contacts with American businessman Mansoor
Ijaz, the main accuser in the memo scandal.

Justice Faiz Eesa, who heads the commission, then
remarked that Haqqani would not be safe in any part of world.

This was an apparent reference to Ijaz`s earlier claim
that he had contacts with 24 intelligence agencies around the
world.

Bukhari said Haqqani had filed an appeal in the Supreme
Court seeking relief in connection with the commission’s order
to appear before it.

Since Ijaz was allowed to depose via a video link from
London, Haqqani should be given the same facility, Bukhari
said.

The commission offered to provide complete security to
Haqqani.

"I wonder that he is willing to come to London from the
US but not to Pakistan," Justice Eesa said.
Haqqani is a Pakistani citizen and bound to follow the
law and the Constitution, he added.
A Deputy Attorney General, who appeared before the
commission, was questioned about the security arrangements put
in place for Haqqani.

The law officer told the commission that arrangements had
been finalised but the government had not been informed of any
threats received by the former envoy.

The commission then rejected Haqqani`s plea to depose via
a video link and observed that he should appear before the
panel.

Haqqani was forced to resign last year after Ijaz made
public the purported memo.

PTI



First Published: Monday, March 26, 2012 - 18:18

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