The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has issued a fresh notice to the son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to appear later this week before a joint investigation team (JIT) probing blackmail charges against him by a billionaire property developer.
The notice was issued after Dr Arsalan Iftikhar did not show up on Monday before the JIT comprising NAB, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Islamabad police.
The JIT is probing allegations by the real-estate tycoon, Malik Riaz, that Dr Arsalan had received millions of rupees from him promising to sway court decisions in his favour in some lawsuits against him. Dr Arsalan denies the charges.
According to a statement, Dr Arsalan was summoned by NAB for a ‘personal appearance’ on Monday for recording his statement. He, however, did not appear before the JIT.
“A notice under section 19 is being issued again for his appearance before the JIT on July 26 (Thursday),” read the statement.
A notice has also been issued to Dr Faqir Hussain, the registrar of the Supreme Court, for a personal appearance on Wednesday.
NAB formed the JIT after the Supreme Court ordered the government to investigate the matter after taking a suo motu notice of the case when Riaz first hurled allegations at Chief Justice Chaudhry during a news conference.
But Dr Arsalan, in a letter written to NAB through his lawyer Malik Ishaq, had objected to the inquiry.
Salman Ahmed, Riaz’s son-in-law, and Ahmed Khalil, Riaz’s business partner from whom Arsalan allegedly received money in an alleged underhand deal, were also summoned but did not show up.
Ahmed, in a fax message sent from the United Kingdom, said that he was receiving life threats and it was not possible for him to travel to Pakistan for this case.
He has, however, agreed to record his statement outside the country, the NAB statement added.
Meanwhile, Khalil in his letter informed the JIT that he was undergoing treatment in a hospital in Germany.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2012.