No evidence against CJ, says Riaz

ISLAMABAD - Malik Riaz Hussain, the central character in scam involving Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry's son Arsalan Iftikhar, has alleged that he decided to make public the entire story because of Arsalan's increasing 'blackmail'.

By Afzal Khan

Published: Sun 10 Jun 2012, 12:33 AM

Last updated: Wed 12 Feb 2020, 3:31 PM

He said Arsalan had promised to help him out of several cases he was facing in the Supreme Court and made him spend tens of millions of rupees in funding his foreign trips and his business. "When he could not get any relief, Arsalan urged patience while his demands continued to increase to unbearable levels," Malik was quoted as saying in a series of interviews he gave to Ansar Abbasi of daily The News.
Abbasi said these interviews were held prior to the matter coming to the notice of the Supreme Court and were supposed to be kept off the record. But Malik, who is currently in London for medical treatment, has now permitted him to publish them.
Malik insisted he has no evidence against the CJ and believed he was not aware of his son's dealings. Malik described the chief justice as "the only hope to check corruption" in the country. On one occasion, he said while all others were busy in loot and plunder, the chief justice was the lone fighter against the corrupt.
Malik said he paid Rs25-40 million to Arsalan in the form of funding his foreign trips and assisting his business on promise he would help in providing relief in cases in the Supreme Court.
Malik, who saw a phenomenal rise as a businessman, enjoys extreme influence in the military, government, civil bureaucracy, media and politics. On the one hand, he showed his extreme frustration for being allegedly dealt "unfairly" and "sternly" by the chief justice and, on the other hand, he said Iftikhar Chaudhry was a bulwark against rampant corruption in the country. He was satisfied evidence would put Dr Arsalan on the mat. He also alleged that Arsalan was being favoured and given money to get his real estate firm Bahria Town's cases settled but he did not have any evidence of corruption against the chief justice.
"I used to adore him and wrote a large number of columns in favour of Iftikhar Chaudhry," the Bahria Town tycoon said, adding that Arsalan's 'blackmailing' for more and more money without any return benefit forced him to release the evidence.
When asked if the chief justice knew that his son was getting money from Bahria Town, he said he did not think so. He also doubted if CJ's family had much knowledge about Arsalan's deals. On Thursday, before recusing himself from the case, CJ Iftikhar said on oath that he had no knowledge of his son's business.
When asked if the chief justice's family knew that Arsalan had been taking them to Britain for holidays on Bahria Town's expenses, he doubted they knew that. He, however, said Arsalan was fully in the picture.
Malik Riaz categorically denied anybody from the civilian or military was behind his move against Arsalan. He said he did not want to be used by others for their vested interest but was still eager to go public with his evidence.
At one stage, Malik said he had entered into a written agreement with a British journalist, Christina Lamb, to break the story in the British media but when he was warned of serious consequences for Pakistan of such a move, he decided not to do it and hinted that the evidence might be handed over to The News.
Later, he said that Aitzaz Ahsan was also against breaking the story through the British media and that too when the CJ was to be present in London to receive an award for being one of the best jurists in the world.

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