ISLAMABAD: Business tycoon Malik Riaz, speaking with reference to the Dr Arsalan Iftikhar suo motu case, on Tuesday claimed that he did not give any bribes to anyone but rather was blackmailed.
Riaz, who had earlier appeared before the Supreme Court to hand over his statement, was speaking to the media at a hotel in Islamabad.
“Blackmailers were sent after me. Where should I go? Why was I pushed against the wall?” Riaz questioned.
Riaz said that despite being blackmailed, he continued to “bear” the trouble to avoid destroying his credibility and his career. “I cannot see this country collapsing. I have helped built it.”
He further claimed that there is no free judiciary in the country and it is 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 during Musharraf’s tenure. “I also offered him my bullet-proof vehicle.”
Riaz, holding a pocket Holy Quran in one hand, questioned Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry before the media. “I have come here with the Holy Quran, just like the chief justice did. I have three questions for the chief justice.”
As his first question, Riaz asked the chief justice to tell the nation how many times they had met during the night, and if his son Dr Arsalan Iftikhar did not know him. “Was he not there in the meetings?” He further asked the chief justice to disclose how many times the prime minister and the CJ met at his partner Ahmed Khalil’s residence.
“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?”
“Call me for contempt or send me to jail. I’m ready to die. I’m not afraid of the jails,” Riaz said, while promising that he will disclose more facts in “due time”.
A perturbed Malik Riaz later left the press conference after telling media persons that he had disclosed what he had to for today.
‘Riaz met CJ when judiciary was deposed’
Supreme Court Registrar Dr Faqeer Hussain, in response to Riaz’s press conference, clarified that the meetings between Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Riaz were held at the time when the judiciary was deposed, reported Express News.
Supreme Court registrar further defended the chief justice by saying that when Riaz had offered his bullet-proof car, the chief justice turned down the offer. Hussain added that Riaz tried to force the chief justice into meeting President Asif Ali Zardari, but he refused it as well.
A suo motu was taken by the chief justice against Iftikhar and Riaz, following media reports that Iftikhar had received between Rs300 and Rs400 million from Riaz to influence judicial proceedings. The chief justice had summoned his son to the court, and had later detached himself from the bench.