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Wednesday Oct 02 2019

Pakistani HC rejects Nasir Butt's request to attest forensic report

Photo: File

LONDON: Pakistan High Commission in the UK has rejected a request by Nasir Butt to attest a forensic report by a British firm related to the leaked audio and video of former accountability court judge Arshad Malik. The Pakistani mission has said that it cannot attest the report until a Pakistani court asks them to do so.

Nasir Butt, the main character of the video scandal implicating former accountability court judge Arshad Malik, visited the high commission through an appointment on Tuesday. However, the diplomatic staff of the mission only attested the lawyer’s letter for Islamabad High Court and refused to attest the report.

This is the fourth time in two weeks that Nasir Butt had visited the Pakistani mission to seek the attestation of the forensic report. A high commission official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, claimed that the Foreign Office has instructed the diplomats to not to attest the forensic report.

The 43-page report had been prepared by Digital forensic firm Cyfor which provides services in the areas of eDiscovery and Digital ‘forensics’ with expertise in advanced data analytic and data recovery. After concluding its investigations, Cyfor had concluded in the report that former accountability court judge’s secretly recorded videos and audios were genuine, authentic and consistent with the original recordings.

Former accountability judge Malik, who had convicted Nawaz Sharif in assets beyond means case, was secretly recorded as saying that he was blackmailed and put under pressure to convict the former premier and that he regretted convicting him. The forensic report has already been notarised by Charles Drostan Guthrie, Notary public and attested by UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Butt, while speaking to the media outside the Pakistani mission, said the Pakistani mission usually attests papers for court after it has been attested by the FCO but in his case, the rule was being ignored. He also claimed that officials know that the forensic report contains evidence against the former prime minister.

He added that two different forensic firms have concluded that the video and audio are genuine and unedited. “Everyone knows that judge Arshad Malik made the confession on his own will,” said Butt.

Nasir Butt claimed that there was political pressure on the diplomats in London which is why the forensic report was not being attested. “Instead of attesting my forensic report, they handed me over my arrest warrant which is politically motivated,” said the PML-N leader.