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Rediff.com  » News » Pak SC to hear Haqqani's plea for video-testimony

Pak SC to hear Haqqani's plea for video-testimony

March 28, 2012 16:26 IST

Pakistan's Supreme Court will on Thursday hear former envoy Husain Haqqani's plea to testify via video link from abroad on a mysterious memo before a judicial commission, which has warned that an arrest warrant could be issued if he does not return to the country.

A 10-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry will take up Haqqani's petition, which asks that he should be allowed to record his statement with the commission via a video link.

Haqqani, who is currently abroad, contended in his petition that he could not return to Pakistan as he had grave security concerns because of many frivolous and sensational allegations levelled by American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the main accuser in the memo scandal.

Several intelligence agencies were in contact with Ijaz and his family feared for his life in case he travelled to Pakistan, Haqqani contended.

Noting that Ijaz had been allowed to testify via a video link from London, Haqqani said he should be given the same facility.

The Supreme Court-appointed judicial commission has already rejected a similar petition from Haqqani. After Haqqani failed to appear before the commission on March 26, the panel gave the former envoy a final opportunity to record his statement.

The commission warned that it could attach Haqqani's property and issue an arrest warrant to ensure his attendance or initiate contempt of court proceedings against him if he failed to comply with its orders.

The commission has also sought an extension from the Supreme Court as its term is set to end on March 31. The next hearing is expected to be scheduled after the court grants an extension.

Haqqani was forced to resign as Pakistan's envoy to the US last year after Ijaz made public a mysterious memo that had sought United States help to stave off a feared coup after the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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