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Memo commission rejects Ijaz's plea to testify abroad over security reasons

Islamabad, Wed, 25 Jan 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Jan 25 (ANI): The judicial commission probing the memogate scandal has given Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz a last chance to appear before it by February 9 in Islamabad, rejecting his plea to testify abroad on the same issue over security reasons.


During the fourth meeting of the commission, its chairman, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, made it clear that the panel will not travel abroad to record Ijaz's statement, the Daily Times reports.


The commission also rejected Ijaz's petition, which called for recording his statements outside Pakistan, saying that if he was not satisfied with the security arrangements made for him in the country, the commission's secretary can record his statement in the presence of immigration and security inside the plane that will bring him to Pakistan.


Ijaz was initially asked to appear before the commission on January 16, but the hearing was postponed till January 24 on his request.


Ijaz's lawyer Akram Sheikh said earlier that his client will not come to Pakistan, as he wishes to avoid 'knowingly falling into the government's trap'.


Sheikh said that he had held a teleconference with Ijaz after meeting Inspector General (IG) of Police (IG) Islamabad Bin Yamin Khan, who briefed him about the security arrangements that have been made for his client.


"No assurance has been given with regards to his [Ijaz's] life or property. It seems like a well-orchestrated trap to hold Ijaz indefinitely in Pakistan... He refuses to knowingly fall into the government's trap," he added.


Yesterday, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has assured the commission investigating the Memo Gate scandal that he would provide high-level security to Ijaz on his arrival in Islamabad, and would not put his name on the Exit Control List (ECL).


Malik appeared before the commission in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) building to explain his "controversial" statements pertaining to the scandal.


Chairman of the commission Justice Qazi Faez Issa said Malik was summoned because he was intervening in the commission's affairs and had therefore summoned him to explain his position. (ANI)


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