Malik Riaz’s lawyer Wahid Hussein Bookmark said whatever his client had claimed had been proven in the report. “Theft is theft whether it is of a penny or a pound.” — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: A preliminary report presented by the Dr Shoaib Suddle Commission to the Supreme Court on Wednesday confirmed relations between Arsalan Iftikhar, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and Ahmed Khalil, close associate of real estate magnate Malik Riaz.

The businessman had claimed in a petition that he had paid Rs342 million to Arsalan Iftikhar in order to get verdicts in his favour from the court.

“The initial report submitted before the Supreme Court is subject to any change in future if both parties cooperate and give more details,” a source close to the commission told Dawn.

“In the report it has been mentioned that Ahmed Khalil had spent Rs5m on travelling and stay abroad of Arsalan Iftikhar and his family. But Rs4.5m had been returned by Arsalan Iftikhar,” the source said.

The money was returned to Ahmed Khalil in August last year, nine months before the case was filed, the report said.

According to sources, the report confirmed that members of the chief justice’s family had travelled abroad and that their expenses were borne by Ahmed Khalil.

The sources said Malik Riaz had claimed that he had paid about Rs290m to Arsalan Iftikhar in cash, but he had no evidence to support his claim.

Dr Suddle sought time to prepare a comprehensive report and said he required cooperation from the petitioner and accused.

“The only way to know the facts is that the two parties sit in front of the commission so that it can be ascertained who is right and who is wrong,” they said.

REPORT PLEASES RIAZ LAWYER: On the other hand, Malik Riaz’s lawyer Wahid Hussein Bookmark said whatever his client had claimed had been proven in the report. “Theft is theft whether it is of a penny or a pound.”

He claimed that Malik Riaz had more evidence about the money paid to Arsalan, but it would not be presented before the commission.

Mr Bookmark said his client was planning to file a case against Arsalan Iftikhar in the UK where more evidence would be shared with the court. He said Malik Riaz’s review petition in the Supreme Court against the formation of the commission would be heard on Friday.

“I will also file objections on the commission’s report on that day.”

The preliminary report also contained details of Arsalan Iftikhar’s bank accounts.

The Supreme Court had assigned the investigation to the commission on Oct 1 after dissolving a joint investigation team, headed by a NAB official, on July 31 after Arsalan Iftikhar accused its members of partiality.

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