Forensic firm urges permission to share tape scandal’s result

Published November 23, 2021
This photo shows former chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. —DawnNewsTV/File
This photo shows former chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. —DawnNewsTV/File

WASHINGTON: Garret Discovery, a US firm which examined a tape attributed to former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, told Dawn on Monday it “did perform work” for a website called FactFocus but refused to share details.

In the audio clip, which has not been verified by Dawn, a voice, allegedly of the former chief justice, can be heard saying: “Let me be a little blunt about it. Unfortunately, here it is the institutions that dictate judgements. In this case, we will have to punish Mian Saheb (Nawaz Sharif). [I] have been told ‘we have to bring Khan Saheb’ (Imran Khan) [into power].” Then, he adds, “Punishment will have to be given.”

FactFocus also carried a statement on its site, saying that it got the audio clip checked by Garret Disco­very, a firm which identifies itself as “computer, mobile, video and audio forensic experts”.

FactFocus said: “Garret Discovery has a team of leading experts who have a long experience of analysing and presenting evidence and testifying before courts in the US. The firm’s analysis report certifies the integrity of the audio file and states that ‘this audio has not been edited in any way’.”

In a chat with a Garret Discovery representative, Dawn pointed out that the firm has been mentioned in a story about a former Pakistani chief justice.

“A website called FactFocus did this story, based on a taped conversation between the chief justice and someone else. The website claims that your firm performed forensics on the tape and determined that it has not been edited or tampered with. So, we need your version.”

“We did perform work for FactFocus. As part of our standard agreement, we have a confidentiality clause that prohibits us from speaking about the scope of work or work we performed,” the representative responded.

“We have no problem releasing details as long as our client signs an agreement allowing us to do so. Please contact FactFocus with any inquiries as to the work we performed and discuss with them any release of information. We will not comment anymore on this issue until that time.”

When Dawn asked Fact­Focus if Garret Discovery also determined this was “a genuine audio tape of a conversation between two persons,” they said they never made any claim about the authenticity of the conversation. “The forensic was about the tape, not who the two persons were. Although, the first voice is that of Mr Nisar, we don’t know the second person.”

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2021

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