Real estate tycoon Malik Riaz (C) waves to members of the media as he leaves after appearing before the Supreme Court in Islamabad, June 12, 2012. — Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday resumed the hearing in the show-cause notice issued to property tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain over a controversial press briefing, DawnNews reported.

A bench comprising Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Amir Hani Muslim was hearing the notice.

During the hearing, it emerged that Riaz was not able to arrange for a lawyer to defend him.

Riaz told the court that he was facing a media trial and requested for 10 days to arrange a lawyer for his defence. He also claimed that in case he failed on his commitment, he would face the punishment worthy of a criminal.

In his remarks, Justice Jan said that every citizen had the right to defence and that the state would provide Riaz with a defence attorney in case he failed to arrange one for himself.

Islamabad High Court Bar Association President Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf Gujjar, who is also a petitioner, informed the court that no one was stopping Riaz from obtaining a lawyer for his defence, and that the defendant could avail the services of any lawyer within his personal capacity and no bar association would cause hindrance to it.

Gujjar also requested the court to grant Riaz four days to arrange for a lawyer.

Earlier, Riaz  had requested the court to provide him with stringent security on the occasion of his court appearance.

In the request submitted to the apex court, the real state tycoon said that his life was in danger and that he was receiving threats and therefore required strict security.

According to Riaz, some lawyers had threatened him during one of his court appearance and others had mistreated him on another occasion.

He added that a media campaign was being run to incite the public against him.

Earlier, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had taken a suo moto notice over allegations that his son Arsalan Iftikhar had received Rs300 to 400 million from Riaz.

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