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‘Leaked’ audio: American forensics firm Garret Discovery faces threats

Says "political use" of the report is not firm's concern

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 24, 2021 | Last Updated: 6 days ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 24, 2021 | Last Updated: 6 days ago

The US firm which authenticated an audio clip attributed to former Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar says that it has been flooded with calls and chat requests and threatened by a caller who said the lives of its employees were in danger.

Garret Discovery says the threat and the call were meant to “obtain a different result.”

The forensics firm also says that it did not certify that the voice on the viral audio clip was that of Justice (retd) Saqib Nisar.

Garrett Discovery, a firm specializing in multimedia forensics, had examined the audio clip and certified that it has not been edited in any way. 

Garret Discovery has been tweeting about Justice Nisar linked audio ever since the clip was released by FactFocus, a US-based website of Pakistani origin.

In the latest tweet the company said that it has received a call threatening that the lives of its employees were in danger. It added that the person on call warned of a lawsuit against Garret Discovery “for authenticating a file for FactFocus.”

A day earlier, Garret Discovery had tweeted that it would not answer questions from SAMAA TV.

However, later it changed its position when SAMAA TV’s US correspondent Yasir Feroz contacted the firm’s head Andrew Garrett and asked about the audio clip his firm examined. 

Garrett said that he has no knowledge of the person whose voice is in the clip. He added that his firm only provided the forensic report of the tape to their clients, FactFocus, and that he stands by that report. 

When asked whether the firm can identify an audio clip which is pieced together, Garrett said that this question should be directed to FactFocus. 

“A client came to us with an audio clip. We examined it and gave them a report. We are not concerned if that report is used for political purposes,” said Garrett. 

The clip was ‘pieced together’

According to a report by SAMAA TV, the audio clip appears to be pieced together from two separate speeches of former CJP Nisar.  

The two speeches were made by former CJP Nisar on January 22, 2018, and February 22, 2018. The former speech was made in an address to a judicial conference, while the latter was made while addressing a ceremony of Islamabad High Court Bar. 

Some phrases in the audio clip exactly match with parts of speeches delivered by the former CJP, the TV said.

In the clip, Justice (retd) Nisar is allegedly talking to some other person about the trial of former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif. 

A voice, purportedly of former CJP Nisar is heard saying, “Let me be a little blunt about it, unfortunately we have institutions [who] give judgements. In this [case] mian sahab (Nawaz Sharif) has to be penalized. It has been said that khan sahab (Imran Khan) is to be brought to the power. We have to do it. Even the daughter [is to be punished].” 

He allegedly says further, “I told my friends that something should be done about it but my friends didn’t agree to it. There will be no independence of judiciary [after this]. So, let it be.” 

Speaking to SAMAA TV and other media outlets immediately after the clip was published, the former CJP termed the audio clip as “fabricated.” He said either the voice was not his or the clip had been produced by stitching together clips from his speeches. “I have never said that to anyone,” he says. 

Reactions to the leaked audio 

Speaking to SAMAA TV Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry appreciated the efforts of SAMAA TV for the factcheck and said that there is no doubt left now and everything is clear. 

“It is unfortunate that whenever Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz’s cases are set to be heard by the courts, similar leaks appear in the media to discredit our judicial system. This is done by PMLN,” said Chaudhry. 

“This has been done on the behest of Maryam Nawaz Sharif and an investigation must be conducted into this matter.” 

Senior PMLN leader Mian Javed Latif said that he is not concerned whether the audiotape is real or fake. 

“I am more concerned about what Ali Ahmed Kurd said about the judiciary at the Asma Jehangir Conference,” said Latif. 

“Was there any investigation on the statement of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui? Was the audio of Judge Arshad Malik investigated?” 

Earlier, reacting to the leaked audio clip, Pakistan Muslim League N President Shehbaz Sharif said that the “new audio clip of former Chief Justice shows how Nawaz Sharif & Maryam Nawaz were targeted as part of a grand scheme to keep them out of the political process.” 

He tweeted, “time has come to right the wrongs inflicted on them. The nation looks forward to justice system.” 

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