The question is : should JIT visit Qatar to record the statement of prince reluctant to come to Pakistan and appear before the concerned authorities?
I don’t think what would be answer of my readers but for this student the answer in No. No No sir, not at all. Before you opt for this option kindly keep it in mind that this steep shall eviscerate the legal norms, tradition and practice of your criminal procedural system.
Why the answer is a big No? Let me elaborate it.
Putting in a very simple way, we must know the status of the Prince of Qatar in this case. His statement is not required by the state of Pakistan. His letter was actually in support of his family friend Mian Nawaz Sharif. Not the state or the law of the land but the accused is in dire need of his statement. State didn’t ask him to come and assist the law. Nawaz Sharif asked him to rescue him from the clutched of the law. In this case Nawaz and family has to prove the money trail. If they prove it the cash is finished, if they can’t prove it they are finished.
If the accused think his statement is helpful for him he should produce him in the witness box and if he fails to produce him he must suffer. It is basically duty of the accused to produce some witness in his favor. By no means it is duty of the state. If the accused wishes so he must produce his witness.
In law, we know there are two types of witnesses. One: required by the state to appear and record statement against the accused. State can bring such witness at the expense of the tax payers and national exchequer. The other type of witness is actually required by the accused. The accused produces such witness at his own. State can provide any monetary assistance to such accused.
The prince of Qatar falls in the second category. The state has nothing to do with his statement. Shareef family is the sole beneficiary of his statement. Therefore if he comes and appears in the JIT proceeding at his own or by the accused, it is ok. If he doesn’t come, the state officials must not go to Qatar. Tax payer’s money can’t be spent to assist the accused.
This move shall also be considered as a precedent in our legal judicial and criminal system. Keeping this precedent in mind any accused can ask the investigative agencies that he has a witness that can prove his innocence but that the witness resides in any other country and doesn’t want to come to Pakistan. I wonder what would be the answer of the concerned authorities at that time.