ISLAMABAD - Property mogul Malik Riaz has directly implicated the spouse of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and his other family members in Arsalan Iftikhar graft case, The Nation has learnt.
Sources aware of the development said that Riaz, in a statement he recorded before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on Friday, also presented ‘documentary evidence’ to substantiate his claim. He alleged that on account of Arsalan’s blackmailing Bharia Town and his family members had sponsored foreign visits of CJ’s spouse and his daughters.
Malik Riaz stated that when the ‘blackmailing’ crossed ‘all limits’ he tried to bring the matter to Justice Iftikhar’s notice through some ‘prominent and respected figures’. And when his attempts to sensitise the chief justice failed he was left with no choice but to make the whole affair public.
The sources further said that now the JIT would examine the health of the documents presented by the tycoon against the scion of the chief justice and his other family members, who according to him were also the beneficiaries of Arsalan’s murky business.
The sources said that Malik Riaz requested the JIT to grant him some time so he could bring more documentary evidence to substantiate his charges against Arsalan – who, according to him, extorted millions of rupees in the garb of commercial transactions with the Bahria Town.
Riaz also alleged that Arsalan was still threatening him, like he had been doing over the past several years, to extort money from him on one pretext or the other.
Sources in the JIT informed The Nation that some other secret agencies of the country have also provided information and ‘evidence’ in connection with this case, bringing a major shift in the direction of the inquiry, and now the JIT has decided to consult top legal brains on how to proceed further in this sensitive matter.
They said that now the inquiry team would record statements of other accused in the case on July 23 (tomorrow) and then it would look into the possibility of moving abroad to verify the documents presented by Riaz to verify his claims. The JIT sources said that NAB had already approached some foreign governments for assistance and cooperation in this case and they had a positive response.
They said that the NAB team would be recording statements of some important personalities who have shown willingness to testify and who would also provide some evidence. The JIT is also expected to undertake two or three foreign visits for collecting evidence. It is believed that some persons presently residing in the US, the UAE and the UK have approached the JIT for providing relevant information on the Arsalan-Riaz case and related matters.
Malik Riaz, who reportedly furnished some very important pieces of evidence during his personal appearance before JIT on July 20, had earlier, on two occasions, skipped NAB proceedings purportedly due to his court cases. NAB had however given him a warning that failure on his part to appear before JIT would result in ex party action.