Tycoon, former envoy at centre of new Pakistan turmoil
By Qasim Nauman
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A Pakistani real estate tycoon on Tuesday accused the chief justice of turning a blind eye to his son's alleged corrupt financial practices, in a scandal that could damage one of the few public figures willing to take on the powerful military.
Malik Riaz, who fashions himself as a billionaire philanthropist, said he had given almost $3.6 million in bribes to Arsalan Iftikhar, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.
Riaz, who has been accused of fraud, suggested that Chaudhry knew about the matter in advance of the Supreme Court's hearings on the issue this week. Riaz has denied all allegations.
"I have three questions for the chief justice of Pakistan. He should tell the nation today that in the dark of the night how many times did he (Chaudhry) meet me," said Riaz.
"He should tell us how long he has known about this case and why he did not take suo motu action."
Iftikhar has denied any wrongdoing. Chaudhry said he would not get involved in the case, which is dominating headlines in nuclear-armed Pakistan.
The Supreme Court registrar said in a statement to the media that the chief justice had met Riaz, but at a time when Chaudhry was suspended by then President Pervez Musharraf.
Chaudhry became a household name in Pakistan and gained international recognition in 2007 when he stood up to Musharraf over his legally questionable bid to hold on to power. Continued...