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Real Estate Tycoon Riaz points finger at Iftikhar & son

13 June, 2012

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ISLAMABAD: Real estate tycoon Malik Riaz unleashed on Tuesday a tirade against the chief justice of Pakistan and his son, as he appeared in the Supreme Court in a suo motu case regarding alleged corruption of millions of rupees by the CJP's son.

Riaz accused Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry of holding secret meetings with him "in the darkness of nights" in the presence of his son Dr Arsalan Iftikhar.

Addressing a news conference, Riaz, holding a pocket copy of the holy Quran, told the media, "I have come here with the holy Quran, just like the chief justice did. I have three questions for the chief justice."

Riaz said questions to the chief justice were to tell the nation how, so many times, they have met at nights, and if his son, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, did not know him – as the latter had claimed. "Was he not there in the meetings?" He further questioned the chief justice to tell the people how many times the prime minister and the CJP had met at his partner Ahmed Khalil's residence. The sitting registrar was also present during several of these meetings, he further claimed.

"Place this holy Quran in front of you and tell the people: for how long have you not known about this? Why did you not take a suo motu then? Why did you take a suo motu only when the media broke the news?" Riaz went on further.

"How many meetings he held with me in the darkness of the night in the presence of Arsalan? Didn't Arsalan know me and how many meetings the CJP held with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the darkness of night?"

The businessman said, "He (CJP) should swear and say when did he come to know about Arsalan's wrongdoings and why he didn't take suo motu notice?"

Continuing his volley of accusations, Malik Riaz said a sitting judge of the Supreme Court also used to participate in the meetings. He revealed further that a common friend of his and the CJP informed the latter about the blackmailing of his son but he (CJP) denied them, saying, "Malik Riaz is a blackmailer."

Riaz said the CJP should not have take up a case against him, adding that the Federal Investigation Agency was ordered to implicate him (Riaz) in a murder case.

"I have put my business at stake but now I will not tolerate all this," he said. Holding up the copy of the holy Quran, Riaz said no third party was behind the entire controversy.

He further admitted that he has been blackmailed as a businessman and said, "I did not bribe anyone, but was blackmailed myself. Blackmailers were assigned to follow me and I did not bribe anyone, my son-in-law did."

"Blackmailers were sent after me. Where should I go? Why was I pushed against the wall?" Riaz questioned.

He said that despite being blackmailed, he went through a lot of trouble to save his credibility and his career. "I cannot see this country collapsing. I have helped built it."

He further claimed that there was no free judiciary in the country and it was being run by a "don". "Arsalan Iftikhar is the don. But I still respect the chief justice."

"Even today I respect the chief justice. Even today, I have submitted my reply in written to the court and I stand by my statement," Riaz said, adding that he even wrote a book in 2007 in favour of the chief justice of Pakistan during Musharraf's tenure. "I also offered him my bullet-proof vehicle".

He said he did not go to the Supreme Court to purchase justice, but to seek justice.

Malik Riaz clarified that he had not accused the chief justice of Pakistan of anything but instead respected him, adding that their cases were not heard in the Supreme Court properly.

When asked of repercussions that may arise following such accusations, Riaz said a person putting everything at stake was never afraid of jail. He said the president and the PM were not behind him.

"Call me for contempt or send me to jail. I'm ready to die. I'm not afraid of the jails," Riaz said, promising he will disclose more facts in "due time".


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