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Suddle summons Arsalan to record his statement

October 08, 2012


Arsalan Iftikhar—File Photo
Arsalan Iftikhar—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Shoaib Suddle inquiry commission has summoned Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, to record his statement in a graft case.

“The commission has served a notice on Dr Arsalan to appear before it or submit his statement within a week,” a source told Dawn on Sunday.

Real estate magnate Malik Riaz, the other main character in the case, has refused to cooperate with the commission.

A fresh notice has been served on Mr Riaz to appear before the commission or submit his statement by Oct 12. He has not complied with two previous notices and challenged the commission’s formation in the Supreme Court.

“This is the last and final notice to Malik Riaz and if he keeps defying the commission will proceed without his statement,” the source said.

The source said it was in the interest of Mr Riaz to submit a statement before the commission, otherwise his statements filed before a joint investigation team (JIT) headed by an official of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and a separate one submitted before the Supreme Court would be used by the commission.

Malik Riaz claims to have paid Dr Arsalan Rs342 million to get his cases pending in the Supreme Court settled.

On Sept 6, the apex court handed over the investigation to Dr Suddle after expressing dissatisfaction over the probe conducted by the NAB’s team.

Meanwhile, the 30-day deadline given to the commission by the court to complete the investigation ended on Saturday.

“The commission has already informed the Supreme Court that because of non-cooperation of Malik Riaz it could not complete the inquiry within the stipulated time and sought more time to complete the job,” another source said.

He said the commission had given 15 days to the public to assist it and submit any evidence against the accused. “Following this public notice the commission has been receiving information daily that will help in the investigation of the case,” the source said.

Mr Riaz’s lawyer Zahid Bokhari has said his client would not appear before the commission because it had been formed without informing him. “We do not accept the Suddle commission because it has been formed against the norms of justice.”

A three-member NAB committee formed to point out reasons for Supreme Court shifting the inquiry from the JIT to the Suddle commission has submitted its report to NAB Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari.

“In the light of recommendations of the committee the NAB chairman will issue directives to avoid any mistake in investigating any case in future,” NAB spokesman Zafar Iqbal said.