Friday December 03, 2021

US forensic firm ‘threatened’ for authenticating Saqib Nisar’s alleged audio

November 25, 2021

LONDON: Garrett Discovery, a US-based firm that conducted the forensic analysis of an alleged Saqib Nisar audio, has said its staff has received a threatening call for authenticating the audio-tape of former Pakistan Chief Justice for the FactFocus website, run by journalist Ahmed Noorani. Garrett Discovery said its staff were threatened to obtain a different result of the alleged Saqib Nisar audio.

The forensic laboratory said via twitter: "Today, we received a call saying our lives are in danger and the same person said he is going to file in court against us for our work authenticating a file for Fact Focus. 1000+ calls and chat requests on our site. Threatening our team to obtain a different result is unethical.”

The firm didn’t mention who the caller was and from which country but added that life threats were made to its staff. The account that tweeted about the threats is unverified but it has been posting the forensic firm’s work for a long time and the same account is mentioned on the firm’s website as the official account.

Speaking to this publication, a spokesman of Garret Discovery said earlier the FactFocus website commissioned it for the forensic examination of the clip and the certificate was issued after the professional forensic test requirements were met. The spokesman said: “We did perform work for FactFocus.” The spokesman said that it’s the usual practice of all professional firms not to release any documents in public domain unless allowed by the client -- the FactFocus in this case.

When asked what was the task and scope of the work FactFocus or reporter Ahmed Noorani assigned to the forensic laboratory, the spokesman said that Garret Discovery was bound by the legal terms not to release parts of the forensic report to anyone unless authorised by its client, the FactFocus. The spokesman said: “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. 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 contacted by this reporter, Ahmed Noorani said that Garret Discovery has confirmed that the audio tape of Saqib Nisar is authentic, no editing was done on it and that a forensic test was done and then a report issued. Noorani said that the genuineness of the tape was first confirmed through our own sources and means and when it was proven to be genuine, only then Garret Discovery was hired for the formal certification of the audio tape.

As soon as the audio was released, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf ministers and supporters of Saqib Nisar termed the audio as fake and an attack on institutions. The PMLN said it was vindication that Nawaz Sharif and his daughter were prosecuted through judicial manipulation.