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SYTECH Case – “Memogate” Pakistani probe concludes ex-US envoy Husain Haqqani drafted memo

Judges investigating whether a Pakistani diplomat asked for American help in removing two senior military commanders has concluded that the former ambassador to Washington drafted a controversial memo which sparked months of intrigue.

ISLAMABAD, May 18: The memo commission completed on Friday its formal proceedings during which it exhibited the electronic evidence produced by American businessman Mansoor Ijaz in support of his claim of drafting and delivering a memorandum to former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen at the behest of former ambassador Husain Haqqani.

At its last hearing, the commission headed by Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa recorded the statement of its secretary District and Sessions Judge Islamabad East Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan who had submitted the forensic report of electronic evidence – BlackBerry messengers and email exchanges of Mr Ijaz and Mr Haqqani.

The secretary was crossexamined by Mr Ijaz`s counsel Akram Sheikh and the deputy attorney general.

Mr Haqqani`s lawyers did not attend the hearing because the former ambassador had boycotted the commission`s proceedings.

Advocate Akram said the forensic report proved that Mr Haqqani had engaged his client for drafting and delivering the memorandum to Admiral Mullen. He said expenses of forensic analysis should be recovered from Mr Haqqani because the commission had sent its secretary abroad after his denial to the electronic evidence.He accused Mr Haqqani of paying $30,000 per month to American lobbyists Harlen Ullman and David Frum from his $7 million discretionary fund for damage control after the memogate scandal came into limelight.

The commission`s secretary said he had asked the parties to submit their proposals for protocol for the forensic test of electronic evidence on March 19. Mr Haqqani and Mr Ijaz sent their proposals through emails the following day.

`I proceeded to London on May 5 for the forensic test of electronic evidence contained in laptop and BlackBerry handsets of Mr Ijaz and offered him and Mr Haqqani to send any suggestion or witness the forensic test at the Pakistan`s High Commission in England.

`I selected a British company, System Technology Consultants Limited (Sytech), for the forensic test because of its reputation, accreditation, cost-effectiveness and their promise for expeditious processing,` the secretary added.

He said the company had deputed two experts -Simon R Lang, a forensic analyst, and Mark Wilshaw, an internet crime specialist for the analysis of Mr Ijaz`s handsets and laptop. The experts started their work on May 11 and submitted reports, along with their affidavits, on May 14.

The deputy attorney gener-al asked the secretary under which criteria he had selected Sytech and how did he know that its experts were the best among others. The secretary said he had got information from the parties in the memo case and also checked through internet. Their selection was based on the cases they had solved in a certain period of time, he added.

Raja Jawad said he had informed Mr Ijaz and Mr Haqqani about the forensic test and also served notices on them prior to the forensic analysis.

The commission also took up an application of Barrister Zafarullah Khan who requested it to treat the evidence as completed and placed them before the Supreme Court for further proceedings.

He said Mr Haqqani had been found guilty after the forensic test and this was the reason he did not appear before the commission despite issuance of several summons.

The commission had summoned the foreign secretary, along with details of secret funds used by Mr Haqqani during his ambassadorship, but he did not appear because of his engagements abroad.

The commission decided to convene another in-camera meeting with the foreign secretary and announced the completion of formal proceedings of the memo investigation. 

In-camera session with foreign secretary soon Memo commission proceedings end | ePaper | DAWN.COM.


The memogate controversy (also Mullen memo controversy)[1] revolves around a memorandum (addressed to Admiral Mike Mullen) ostensibly seeking help of the Obama administration in the wake of the Osama bin Laden raid to avert a military takeover of the civilian government in Pakistan, as well as assisting in a Washington insider takeover of the government and military apparatus. The timeline of events indicate that the memo, delivered in May, was still being acted on behind the scenes in October 2011; when Mansoor Ijaz wrote a Financial Times article bringing initial public attention to the affair. The memo, which at first was questioned to even exist, was published in November, leading to the resignation of Ambassador Haqqani and the continuing Pakistani Supreme Court investigation.[2][3][4]

Central actors in the plot include Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who alleged that long-time friend and former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani asked him to deliver a confidential memo[5] asking for US assistance. The memo is alleged to have been drafted by Haqqani at the behest of President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari.[6] The memo was delivered to Mike Mullen by personal friend of Mansoor Ijaz and then National Security Advisor James L. Jones.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has opened a broader inquiry into the origins, credibility and purpose of the memo and as of March 30, 2012 has extended their inquiry at least another 6 weeks.[2][7] On April 19, 2012 a petition was submitted in the Supreme Court to arrest former Pakistan ambassador to US Husain Haqqani through Interpol for his refusal to return to Pakistan. On June 12 the supreme court commission released its findings and found that after testimony by all parties and verifying the forensic results of Ijaz’s BlackBerry conversations with Haqqani it was “incontrovertibly established” that Husain Haqqani had written the memo and was being called back to Pakistan to face likely charges of treason.



Husain Haqqani was forced to resign from the post in November after details of the unsigned letter came to light.

However, his supporters insist he is the victim of a smear campaign and a pawn in a three-way power struggle between the country’s judges, the military and the civilian government.

The idea that a Pakistani diplomat could enlist US help against a powerful military establishment is hugely sensitive at a time when American drones are pounding the country’s north-western fringes, and the controversy at one time threatened to bring down the government.

On Tuesday, a judicial commission concluded that Mr Haqqani had written a memo delivered to Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, in May 2011, days after the US raid to kill Osama bin Laden amid fears of a military coup in Pakistan.

Part of the report, read in court, said: “Mr Haqqani sought American Help; he also wanted to create a niche for himself making himself forever indispensable to the Americans.

“He lost sight of the fact that he is a Pakistani citizen and Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States of America, and therefore his loyalty could only be to Pakistan.”

The court adjourned for two weeks and ordered Mr Haqqani, along with a witness, Mansoor Ijaz, an American businessman who revealed the existence of the memo, to appear when the hearing resumes.

However, Mr Haqqani, who now lives in the US, dismissed the report as “political and one-sided”.

“In any case, the commission was created as a fact-finding body and not as a trial court so it has no right to pronounce anyone guilty or innocent of any crime,” he said in a statement.



Dale Cregan, front left, and the nine men accused with him sit in the dock flanked by security officers
Dale Cregan, front left, and the nine men accused with him sit in the dock flanked by security officers

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The jury is sent home for the day after prosecutor Nicholas Clarke QC says he is not able to present more evidence today

The judge, Mr Justice Holroyde, notes sarcastically that the jury are struggling to conceal their disappointment.

He tells the jury they will not be required on Tuesday as there are legal matters which the barristers must address in their absence, adding further they may not even be required on Wednesday.

The jury is sent home and the trial adjourned until Wednesday at the earliest.


Mohammed Imran Ali, said to be known to his friends as Irish Immie, knew full well that Dale Cregan, Anthony Wilkinson and Jermaine Ward had murdered David Short, according to the Crown.
He ensured they were able to evade the police and leave the Manchester area and he supplied them with essentials that they needed to maintain themselves, according to the prosecution.


The Garmin sat nav device then heads south and is back at Gainsborough Avenue in Oldham at 11.59pm.

The following day the device remains switched off, as it does on August 12,13 and 14, says Mr Lang.

However, he refers to a mobile phone which the Crown say is attributed to Mr Ali, telling the court, using cell-site analysis, it is plotted heading from near his home address to Bradford and Leeds city centre on August 11, the day after the gun-and-grenade attack in which Mr Short was killed.

The sat nav device is turned on again in August 15 when it is plotted again heading towards Bradford and then to Leeds around noon, the court is told.

During this journey into Yorkshire the device is plotted at the White Rose pub and at a McDonald’s drive-through restaurant in Leeds and at the Silver Birch Carvery south of Bradford, the jurors are told.


At 7.15pm the sat nav system leaves the motorway and turns up the A640 where the device is switched off, the court is told.It is switched on again at 8.06pm when it is plotted just south of Bradford, says Mr Lang.

Then the device appears to turn round and heads back towards Manchester, returning to Gainsborough Avenue in Oldham, according to the witness.

At 8.40pm the sat nav system is on the move again and heads north and arrives at the Waggon and Horses pub in the village of Hawkshaw, north of Bury and Bolton, the court is told.

It remains there for two hours and 35 minutes, says Mr Lang.


The sat nav device was plotted at Gainsborough Avenue in the early evening of August 10, the jury was told.

Later it moved to Press To Impress on Lord Lane in Failsworth.The Crown say this was where Mr Ali picked up the men accused of murdering David Short before taking them to Bradford.

The device arrived at the premises at 6.32pm, remained there for four minutes and then moved off heading north west, the jurors heard.

It was at nearby Mona Road for a few minutes before heading off towards the M62 and then towards Yorkshire, the court heard.



Mr Lang started his evidence by explaining his area of expertise was examining sat nav systems or anything with a microchip in it.

He told the jury he found 207 recoverable journey entries which plotted 59, 956 points on a map during his examination of the sat nav system associated with Mr Ali.


The jury is now hearing evidence from Simon Lang, an expert in examining satellite navigation systems.

He was asked to examine a Garmin sat nav system associated with the defendant Mohammed Imran Ali.

Mr Ali is said to have transported Dale Cregan, Anthony Wilkinson and Jermaine Ward from Failsowrth to Bradford in his VW Passat after the murder of David Short.

Mr Ali, 23, from Chadderton, denies one charge of assisting an offender.


The judge, Mr Justice Holroyde, starts by addressing one juror who has sent a note to him asking about a reference on one of the documents they have received which suggested a Mr Webb was a defendant.

The judge makes it clear this was an error. Mr Webb was named earlier in the trial as a man who hired the Salford Van Hire van used in the murder of David Short.

The judge reminds all jurors they must try the defendants before them in the dock and must not speculate about other people named during the case.


The wigs are gathering in court one. The jury is due shortly for day 23 of the trial.

As it happened: Dale Cregan trial – day 23 – Manchester Evening News.