ISLAMABAD - Former Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chairman Zafar Hijazi was indicted on Friday on charges of altering records related to Chaudhry Sugar Mills and pressurising departmental officers to tamper documents.

During the hearing in the local court of special judge Iram Niazi, Hijazi pleaded not guilty.

The former SECP chairman said that a case cannot be registered against him as he neither tampered nor pressurised any departmental officer to do it.

Meanwhile, the prosecutors maintained that they have solid pieces of evidence against Hijazi and they will prove it in the court of law.

An FIA inquiry team had found Hijazi guilty of tampering with the records of companies owned by the Sharif family. The team had submitted a 28-page inquiry report to the Supreme Court on July 9, in which it had endorsed the stance of the JIT probing the offshore assets of Nawaz Sharif and his family in connection with the Panamagate case.

A lower court on July 17 had granted a five-day pre-arrest bail to Hijazi against two surety bonds worth Rs 250,000 each after Hijazi filed for a pre-arrest bail as per Section 498 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Pakistan, citing medical grounds as the basis for the request.

SECP officials in July told a Senate Standing Committee on Finance that Hijazi had harassed and pressured them into closing the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

Director and Head of Department (HOD) Internal Audit and Compliance Department at the SECP Maheen Fatima ? who was also an officer dealing with the money-laundering charges against Chaudhry Sugar Mills ? had alleged that she was locked in a room for talking to the Panama JIT.

"On June 14, I was locked in a room for talking to the JIT members and telling them the factual position regarding closing of the mill’s files," she said and added that Hijazi had forced her to stay in a room for three hours for giving the statement to the JIT.

"He forced me to give an entirely different statement to the JIT and change my previous statement," she said, adding that it was due to the interference of her colleagues that she was allowed to leave the room.