Cross-Examination of Expert Shows Main Weakness of Lawsuit Allegedly by Aga Khan - 2010-09-12
So far, the cross-examinations have shown that the whole case is orchestrated by a couple of people. The Plaintiff's case has not shown any access to, nor any evidence from the Imam. The Plaintiff party is therefore now trying to undermine the firm forgery evidence that the defendants have got.
If Mr Gray is to be believed on the authenticity of the January letter and the May Affirmation, then ismailis would also have to believe that the Aga Khan is aging and in bad health and can no longer do a signature that has remained consistent over many decades. We would also have to believe that Imam's signature changed for the January letter and for the May Affirmation, but not for the February letter [which we know is lifted from another document]. And many other completely unbelievable assumptions would have to be admitted by Ismailis if the Letters are believed to be true!
Short History of the Forgeries
Since the infamous phonecall by Mr Shafik Sachedina in January threatening to ruin Mr Nagib Tajdin's reputation, the Defendants have received 3 communications in 2010 that appeared to be signed by the Aga Khan:
A closer look at the above communications revealed large discrepancies in content, format and in signature compared to all known communications of the Aga Khan. When defendants asked questions, no direct contact was allowed with the Aga Khan, no Farman or relevant constitutional clause was shown, and no clarification was given to the defendants, which prompted the defendants to contact 3 different experts and to get 5 different expert reports all of which concurred that the Aga Khan did not sign these communications. None of the experts contacted by the defendants showed any doubt that these are forgeries.
[Quebec Expert report that signature on January letter is not of the Aga Khan]
[US Expert report that signature on January letter is not of the Aga Khan]
[ Ontario Expert Affidavit]
[Ontario Expert report on January letter]
[Ontario Expert report on February latter]
[Ontario Expert report on May Affirmation]
As the lawsuit advanced, it became obvious that the Plaintiff party has no access to the Imam, and is using their immense resources and influence to make many legal manoeuvres to avoid presenting any direct evidence from the Aga Khan. In fact, the forged letter was used as a tool to ruin the Defendants' reputation in public, but it was not put in court as evidence. The forged letter was actually first presented to the court by the defendants.
During the cross-examinations for summary Judgement, it became amply obvious, from Mr. Gray's Questions as well as from Mr Sachedina and Mr. Bhaloo's answers that they did not represent the Aga Khan, the beloved Imam of the Ismailis.
And therefore, in the absence of any genuine new instruction from the Imam, Defendants are bound by their allegiance to follow the Imam's Farmans, the Ismaili Constitution, as well as the Imam's direct instruction in Mehmani which are known to be authentically from the Imam and in no way support the Plaintiff Party's stance.
Expert's Cross Examination
To counter the damage done to the Plaintiff's case by the above-mentioned cross-examinations, Mr Gray chose to examine, two weeks later, the Defendant's forensic expert Mr Ospreay. This examination clearly highlights that Mr Gray has no access to the Aga Khan, that Mr Gray shows very little respect towards the Aga Khan, and that Mr. Gray does not know the Aga Khan very well.
The Aga Khan is alive and well. Why waste time on a counter-expertise?
Mr Gray asked his own expert, not to show that the signatures are authentic, not to render any conclusion, but rather just to cast some doubt on the defendants' expertise. If Mr Gray had access to the Aga Khan, would he need to cast doubt on the expertise? He could instead destroy it by having the Aga Khan say in person that he signed the letters. And both defendants would immediately fold.
Mr Gray did not provide any authentic documents for his own expert to examine.
If Mr Gray actually represented the Aga Khan, he would have had access to many original signed documents from the Aga Khan. He could have gotten a real counter-expertise to actually conclude on the authenticity of the signatures. He could have had access to undisputed treaties signed by the Aga Khan in front of large audiences. Instead, he only got an expert to cast some doubt.
Defendants will not provide originals to Mr Gray
The Defendants refuse to give the originals of the forged letters to Mr Gray, as they cannot allow anyone to tamper with the original evidence of forgery. Forgery is a criminal offense in most of the countries. Why would the Plaintiff party ask for originals from the defendants, other than to get the forged documents out of the hands of the Defendants?
Similarities or Dissimilarities?
When a signature has remained consistent over many decades, it is very concerning when obvious dissimilarities are observed in a questioned signature. Obviously, fraud can only be discovered by analyzing dissimilarities, not similarities which are bound to happen since the forger is imitating the signature to the best of his ability. Furthermore, the dissimilarities in this case include a less fluid, more hesitant signature with the pen being lifted up many times, whereas the Aga Khan's known signatures are always fluid.
January and May signatures are similar
Mr Ospreay says that the dissimilarities found in the May signature are also present in the January signature. This leads Mr Gray to forward the conclusion that the same person probably wrote both signatures. The defendants agree, that it is highly possible that the same forger forged both signatures, they have never denied this.
Mr Gray admits 2 of the signatures are different from Aga Khan's Known Signatures
By asking a line of questions about why a signature could have changed, even Mr Gray admits that the signature on the January letter as well as on the May Affirmation are different from the Aga Khan's known signatures. Now, Mr Gray has to try to find an explanation for the differences in these signatures.
Mr Gray insists on Imam's Old Age and Bad health.
Mr Gray has been trying to advance the hypothesis that the Aga Khan's signature has changed because of old age and a 2-year old shoulder accident. But his own witness Mr Sachedina does not support Mr. Gray on this conclusion! Mr Gray has not shown any evidence that the Aga Khan is suffering from any ailment that prevents him from signing as usual, he is just making disrespectful assumptions that everyone denies!
In a short phone interview, one defendant said that he has had the opportunity to take close photos and videos of the Imam in 3 or 4 different countries after the shoulder injury happened and has seen that Imam is in perfect control of his hand and fingers.
Aga Khan has a consistent signature.
Mr Gray also tried to show that signatures naturally evolve and that the Aga Khan's signature could have evolved since the sample signatures were written. However, the expert Mr Ospreay pointed out in his affidavit that although it is normal for some people's signatures to vary, in the case of the Aga Khan, his signature has had very little variance over many decades.
Betrayed by the Second letter
The second forged letter, dated February, was shown to be a print on unusual paper and not an actual handwritten sample. Now, a quick comparison even by a layman of this second signature with the two others shows that this February signature is consistent with all the other known authentic signatures of the Aga Khan.
Now, even if one is to assume for a moment that the three letters are not forged, how is it then possible that the January and the May Signatures are affected by ailments and dissimilarities but the February signature is not affected by these?
Heritage News therefore finds that the cross-examination of Mr Ospreay only shows more clearly that Mr Gray has no new credible evidence to present, and that he has no direct access to the Aga Khan to clear up the forgery issue. This gives more credibility to the Defendants' claim that the whole case is initiated by a usurper and not by the Aga Khan Himself.
Online Book that gathers court materials as well as articles that are currently available for the ongoing 2010 Lawsuit:
Copyright Lawsuit 2010: Online Book of All available Materials
Cross examination Transcripts:
2010-08-09 CROSS-EXAMINATIONS for Summary Judgement Motions
|2010-08-23-OSPREAY-CROSS .pdf||1.05 MB|