After the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s interview with Malik Riaz on Friday, a decision has been made to send a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates.
The aim of the JIT is to collect evidence in connection with alleged business deals between Dr Arsalan Iftikhar and real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain amounting to between Rs300 to Rs400 million, NAB officials told The Express Tribune.
NAB chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari has decided to broaden the scope of the investigation on the basis of fresh evidence provided by Malik Riaz to the JIT. Investigators say they will examine the case from a money laundering perspective as well, deeming it necessary to probe offshore bank accounts in the UK
On Friday, Malik Riaz was examined by members of the JIT at NAB’s headquarters. Riaz gave a recorded statement with documented evidence against Dr Arsalan, alleging that he was blackmailed into spending millions of rupees on the Chief Justice’s son.
Riaz has been given a detailed questionnaire which is to be returned to the investigative team by July 24.
The real estate magnate has sought further time to provide additional documentation and other evidence to refute allegations of questionable and illegal transactions against him.
Dr Arsalan skeptical of NAB, FIA’s impartiality
The JIT has summoned Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhary, Salman Ahmed and Ahmed Khalil on July 23 (Monday) to record their statements as well. However, in a six-page letter written to the NAB chairman – a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune – Dr Arsalan expressed serious reservations over the conduct of attorney general Irfan Qadir, and his distrust in NAB and the Federal Investigation Agency to carry out investigations into the matter.
In his letter, Dr Arsalan, through his counsel Sardar Ishaq, termed Qadir’s move of writing a letter to NAB, asking it to initiate the financial scam probe “biased”. “It was a mala fide intention on the part of the attorney general to suggest a joint investigation team of his own choice, transgressing the limits set by the apex court”, he added. Inspectors General Police Islamabad Capital Territory and Punjab have been asked to ensure service of notices on all individuals summoned on Monday.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2012.