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Ijaz to depose from London tomorrow via video conference

by   Feb 21, 2012 14:41 IST

#Mansoor Ijaz   #Memogate   #NewsTracker   #Pakistan  

Islamabad: Pakistani authorities have finalised arrangements to record via a video link from London the testimony of American businessman Mansoor Ijaz regarding a mysterious memo that had sought US help to stave off a possible coup last year.

Zahid Bukhari, the lawyer of Pakistan's former envoy to the US, Husain Haqqani, and two of his associates were issued British visas today to go to London to cross-examine Ijaz.

Mansoor Ijaz

American businessman Mansoor Ijaz will depose at the Pakistan High Commission in London at 2 pm tomorrow and will be cross-examined by lawyers. Screengrab from ibnlive.com

Haqqani was forced to resign after Ijaz made public the alleged memo in October last year.

A Supreme Court-appointed judicial commission that is investigating the memo issue recently decided to record Ijaz's statement via a video link after he refused to travel to Pakistan due to concerns about his security.

Ijaz will depose at the Pakistan High Commission in London at 2 pm tomorrow and will be cross-examined by lawyers.

The National Telecommunication Commission has hired Mansha Brothers, a private firm, for making arrangements for the video conferencing at the judicial commission's office within the Islamabad High Court complex.

The firm provides similar services for trials inside several Pakistani jails.

However, unannounced power cuts and lack of coordination among government departments could hamper the recording of Ijaz's statement, the main accuser in the memo scandal, the Dawn newspaper reported today.

Officers and technicians of the Islamabad High Court, Cabinet Division, National Telecommunication Commission and the private contractor faced several problems yesterday while installing the equipment for video conferencing.

Two 42-inch plasma screens and support equipment have been installed in a courtroom of the Islamabad High Court.

The secretary of the commission, Magistrate Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan, is currently in London to supervise arrangements.

Officials have asked the local power utility to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply to the High court complex during 22-24 February.

Zahid Bukhari, the counsel for former ambassador Haqqani, said video conferencing was not the proper medium for recording the statement of a "star witness".

A senior High Court official said this would be the first experience of recording a statement through video conferencing.

PTI