ISLAMABAD - The judicial commission appointed by the Supreme Court on Friday announced it had completed the proceedings to probe memogate scandal, while the completion of a comprehensive report would take some time.
The three-member commission resumed hearing on Friday at the Islamabad High Court. Raja Jawad, the secretary of judicial commission which is mandated to probe the memogate, recorded his statement under oath along with a forensic report of Mansoor Ijaz' Blackberry handset. Raja Jawad said ten companies were contacted to carry out forensic test of Mansoor Ijaz' blackberry sets and laptops, adding that suitable forensic experts were hired to conduct examination, following evaluation of quality standards and ‘the price to hire services’.
He added that only he and the experts were present during forensic inspection, which lasted for eight hours. Mansoor Ijaz had requested to keep record of his blackberry handsets and laptop secret. “We did not break his trust," Raja Jawad told the commission. On Friday, Zahid Hussain Bokhari, the counsel for Hussain Haqqani, did not appear before the commission. Barrister Akram Sheikh, while quoting some media reports, told the judicial panel that Zahid had refused to appear before the commission. It prompted Justice Qazi Faez Essa to remark that the commission did not believe in media reports; however, Bokhari did not give any application to the commission on the subject.
"Zahid Bokhari has not formally informed the commission about not appearing before the commission. We cannot trust the media reports in this regard."
Raja Jawad said both Mansoor Ijaz and Husain Haqqani had been notified of the forensic examination, adding that he had issued ordered for in-camera hearing likely to be held after arrival of the foreign secretary, pertaining to the usage of secret funds by Haqqani during his tenure as ambassador to the US. During the proceedings, Barrister Zafarullah requested the commission to finalise the report.
"The commission is in possession of enough record and it should finalise its report now."
Legal experts opine that if the memo commission recommends action against Haqqani or upholds Ijaz' version without questioning, the matter will go back to the Supreme Court which could order registration of a case against Haqqani on some specific charge. At that stage Haqqani's lawyers will most certainly challenge the forensic report's authenticity and demand that Ijaz' BlackBerry handset be turned over to multiple independent forensics experts.
Staff reporter adds from Lahore: Haqqani’s counsel claimed that the memo commission had refused to make the documents provided by his client, which was against the norms of the justice.
Talking to media at the Lahore High Court premises, Bokhari said he had recorded the arguments but the memo commission continued the proceedings. “Is the continuation of proceedings means the commission is in search of evidences against Haqqani despite the fact that its mandate is to unearth the truth behind the scandal,” Bokhari posed a query. “A list of allegations on the commission headed by Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa has been prepared. The list would be submitted soon before the Supreme Court,” he concluded.