Memo Scandal Witness Refuses to Travel to Pakistan

Posted January 23rd, 2012 at 7:50 am (UTC-5)
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The chief witness in a Pakistani secret memo scandal has told his attorney he does not want to go to Pakistan to testify because he fears he will be detained.

The lawyer for Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz says his client is willing to record his testimony elsewhere and submit it to Pakistan's Supreme Court commission investigating the scandal.

Ijaz was set to appear Tuesday before the panel investigating the origins of an unsigned memo in which Pakistan's civilian government allegedly asked for U.S. help in preventing a Pakistani military coup, following the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden last May.

Last October, Ijaz accused the then-Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, of writing the memo. Haqqani denies he wrote the document and has since resigned.

Ijaz's lawyer, Akram Sheikh, said Monday that the businessman refuses to walk into a “well-orchestrated trap” to hold him indefinitely.

Pakistan's Attorney General Anwarul Haq says an army officer has been assigned to Ijaz's security detail in order to ensure his safety upon arrival in the country.