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Court stops Arsalan case investigation

July 31, 2012

Supreme Court of Pakistan
Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD, July 31: The Supreme Court stopped on Tuesday a Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) inquiry into the Arsalan-Riaz graft case for two days after one of the members of the team was accused of being partial.

Following the court order, the JIT stopped functioning and it did not serve fresh notices to Supreme Court Registrar Dr Faqir Hussain and Arsalan Iftikhar, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

“Today we wanted to serve fresh notices to Dr Faqir Hussain and Arsalan Iftikhar but in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order, the JIT stopped its operation for two days,” a senior official of the National Accountability (NAB) told Dawn.

During the hearing, a video clip was shown in which one of the members of the JIT (Islamabad Police SP Faisal Bashir Memon) was seen standing close to Malik Riaz during court proceedings.

Arsalan’s lawyer Sardar Ishaq accused the SP of being partial in the case and favouring Malik Riaz.

Advocate Zahid Bukhari, the counsel for Malik Riaz, raised objection over the screening of video in the court and challenged its authenticity.

He asked that how the counsel for Arsalan had come to know that the JIT member was biased.

On July 27, the Supreme Court rejected Arsalan’s plea to issue a restraining order to stop NAB’s joint investigation team, which is probing the alleged business deals between him and Malik Riaz.

Sardar Ishaq had requested the bench to stop the investigation till a decision on his client’s review petition but the court declined the plea.

During Tuesday’s proceedings, Justice Jawwad S. Khwaja issued a stay order till Aug 2 and remarked that it would not create a colossal problem.

Turning to Mr Bukhari, Justice Khilji said: “Let the court do its job. Please avoid uttering such words which may cause trouble for you.”

NAB’s Prosecutor-General K. K. Agha raised his objection to the video and asked how it became possible for Arsalan to gain access to the Supreme Court video.

But the Supreme Court rejected the objection.