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Dr Aafia case: High court seeks top officials’ affidavits

LAHORE, Sept 8: The Lahore High Court (LHC) while issuing notice to former interior secretary, the foreign secretary and the legal adviser to the Foreign Office has directed them to submit their affidavits within two weeks whether they issued $2 million cheques in back dates to a panel of three American lawyers to defend Dr Aafia Siddiqui in United States courts, in violation of court orders.

Dr Aafia’s counsel Barrister Iqbal Jaffree contended that the respondents had issued backdated cheques to avoid the court proceedings initiated against them.

He had already filed a contempt petition contending that the LHC on August 12 had restrained the federal government from releasing the said amount to three American lawyers to plead Dr Aafia’s case in American courts.

The counsel said the government in sheer violation of court orders released the hefty amount to the US lawyers.

The petitioner submitted another petition contending that the respondent had issued backdated cheques.

Earlier, the interior secretary had informed the court that the amount in question had already been released to American lawyers before the court took action.

The counsel had challenged the allocation of $2million (Rs170 million) to the American lawyers by the government to defend Dr Aafia’s case and feared the national exchequer would go to the pockets of some individuals and the needful would remain unachievable.
Source: Dawn
Date:9/9/2009

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