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February 28, 2018

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Radley’s Calibri report may be discarded by court in Avenfield case, lawyer says

LONDON:A lawyer who attended proceedings as observer-counsel in Pakistan High Commission involving Robert Radley in the NAB cases against the former prime minister and his family has said that the court may discard the Calibri font report after the forensic expert accepted during cross-examination that Calibri font was available in 2005 and he himself used it, and that he is not an IT expert.

Amajad Malik, Solicitor Advocate Supreme Court of England& Wales, attended the hearing along with Barrister Fahad Hashmi from Pakistan High Commission London over video link where Robert Radley and Raja Riaz Akhtar, head of JIT Mr Wajid Zia’s cousin, were cross-examined. Amjad Malik was appointed as counsel by the Sharif family. Khawaja Haaris and Amjad Pervaiz, counsels for Maryam and Safdar, grilled the witnesses.

Amjad Malik told in an interview that Robert Radley in effect confirmed that his report can be updated if originals and ink dating analysis is carried out because he acted in a haste.

Amjad Malik said that Robert Radley didn’t carry out microscopic examination with VSU (Video Spectoral Comparator) of the Trust Deed between Maryam and Hussain Nawaz while examining it with Video Spectral Comparator (VSC). Malik said Radley should have asked for the original trust deed and admitted that he had not even read the whole trust deed and saw only two deeds on which he was made to comment on it by Akhtar R Raja, a local lawyer. Expert was not even aware where this report was going to be used.

He said the fact that ink-dating facility was not available with him or in fact any of the laboratories in the UK caused serious questions on Radley’s two reports dated 4 and 8 July 2017 and demolished prosecution’s witness testimony.

Malik said that Robert Radley was a hand-writing expert who worked from a small office, with his daughter. and was instructed on phone in June 2017 in haste - through email and Whatsapp without telling him the actual facts of the case.

Malik said: “Robert Radley was portrayed as a font expert whereas he denied being a ‘geek ‘, IT expert, computer expert and or law expert. He denied being a representative of Lucas Groot, the investor of the font, and or Microsoft who commercially floated the window vista and the font in the market. He corrected himself from his 8 July 2007 report duly available at the SC website that the Calibri font invented by Lucas Groot was commercially available after 31 January 2007. He accepted that it was freely available to geeks after April 2005 and tens of thousands of experts were using Beta 1 Version, he downloaded it too and downloaded over 20 times.”

Amjad Malik said that it was surprising and uncustomary that the prosecution (NAB officials) had a conference with him for around 3 hours - a day before the witness testimony in NAB court on 22 February 2018 - without initially correctly telling him that they will be mere observers. “Robert Radley was shocked to learn that they were not going to examine him but the prosecutors in Pakistan will. He brought with him a three-pages yellow coloured document on font and started to respond when questioned on Font by reading the three pages document, containing a very highly technical information that proved a last nail in his testimony. He confessed he discussed and exchanged the contents of the document with NAB intelligence officer and the Deputy Chief Prosecutor the night before. It’s clear that professional ethics, due process and fairness were left long behind in order to achieve a political objective that the NAB officials were hell bent to achieve. Agitation was visible from their faces and Radley in the end was looking red in remorse, and ashamed and may be alien to the proceedings or maybe it was too hot in the room due to pressure situation.”

Malik said that a false impression was created about Radley in Pakistan before the courts and public, through media, but the defence demolished JIT’s case effectively.

He said that Akhtar Raja was presented as a law expert in Pakistan but he accepted that he congratulated his cousin Wajid Zia when he was made JIT head and then accepted that his testimony of commentary was based on a Dawn article of Ardeshir Cowasjee – “a hearsay so to say”.

Amjad Malik said that the JIT was misled because a lawyer at the Freeman Solicitors confirmed that he had signed and attested with his stamp the Trust Deed upon meeting two persons, seeing originals and it’s not easy to prove that English Solicitor was “untruthful” about his response. An independent enquiry one day will put the record straight as to why normal run of the business codal formalities were set aside to hire eminent experts.

Robert Radely admitted that Window Vista issued three editions, the first edition was released on January 31, 2007, and the first edition of Window Vista Beta was issued in 2005 for the IT experts in which the font was included. In his findings included in the JIT report, Radley had noted that he “identified the type font used to produce both certified declarations as ‘Calibri’. However, the font was not commercially available before Jan 31, 2007, and as such, neither of the documents is correctly dated and appear to have been created at some later point in time.”

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