The Panama case JIT report states that efforts and special arrangements had been made to record the statement of the Qatari prince to ascertain the veracity of the contents of the letters submitted by him.
“Mr Thani despite the best efforts of the JIT chose to delay his responses or sideline the issue of recording of statement, by first refusing to give a statement, then accepting and asking for a date, then raising the legal issues of jurisdiction of Pakistani courts and finally sending his response at the last moment without acceding to the jurisdiction of Pakistan law and courts,” the JIT reports.
It terms the whole exercise “as a tactical move to keep the defense of the respondents alive” and claims that alThani was issued a total of four summonses, respectively on May 13, May 24, June 22, and July 4.
Responding to the first summons, the Qatari prince only verified the contents of the letters in writing and claimed following “reconfirmation of letters content there is no requirement for my (Prince) attendance in the proceedings of the JIT”.
Responding second summons alThani wrote to the JIT, “Unfortunately it is not possible for me to visit Pakistan due to unavoidable circumstances ….. I suggest that the members of the JIT may visit me in Doha at a mutually agreeable date.”
Report claims that due to importance of that evidence it was decided that JIT members may travel to Qatar to record the statement and the Qatari prince was offered to give his statement on June 28 or June 29 in the Pakistan High Commission in Doha, Qatar.
Responding that offer [or the third summons], the Qatari prince instead of confirming the dates for the interview stated: “I wish to obtain an acknowledgment from you (JIT) that I am not subject to the jurisdiction and the laws of Pakistan and that you confirm that I am not subject to any investigation or required to appear before any court of law or tribunal for any purpose whatsoever.”
However, he expressed his willingness to meet the JIT members in Doha. To that JIT sent him a detailed response answering his apprehensions and explaining legal issues.
Responding the fourth and final summons, the Qatari prince wrote, “I reiterate that I don’t recognise, and am not subject to jurisdiction of Pakistani laws and Pakistani courts in any manner whatsoever. Your (JIT) statement that I have accepted and submitted to the jurisdiction of Pakistani laws and courts is inappropriate and factually incorrect.”
With that statement he once again asked the JIT to come to Doha and meet him.
The JIT concluded that Qatari prince has adopted an evasive and evidently disingenuous stance with respect to his willingness to cooperate. His last letter was received literally, less than 72 hours before the final report of the JIT.
“Besides employing dilatory tactics, Mr Thani has also categorically refused to recognise to be subject to the jurisdiction of Pakistani laws and Pakistani court in any manner whatsoever.
“Mr Thani has never indicated that he has or will be providing any documentation to substantiate the contents of the letters rather he simply offered to verify in person that he did sign the said letters and that he stands by their content but without any further elaboration at all.”