Pakistan

Govt removes accountability court judge Arshad Malik on IHC request after video controversy

ISLAMABAD: The Minister for Law Dr Farogh Nasim said on Friday that until further investigation, the senior Judge of Accountability Court Arshad Malik was barred from accountability court in reference to the scandal over blackmail claims relating to the jailing of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges.

The Minister for Law Dr Farogh Nasim addressed to a press conference in which he expressed that no one is allowed to put pressure on the courts. He continued that Judge of Accountability Court Arshad Malik defended himself by saying that an unbiased verdict was given by him as Nawaz Sharif was also acquitted in one of the two cases and if he was pressurized, he would have held him accountable in both the cases.

The Minister for Law Dr Farogh Nasim went on to say that there is a punishment for the person who put pressure on the judges during hearings and further added that law and justice will prevail by not allowing it to happen. It was further added by him that ” Judge of Accountability Court Arshad Malik can be jailed for ten years if found guilty.”

The Federal Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Farogh Naseem added that until and unless convicted persons provide money trail to the court of law, any video leak or affidavit could not quash the verdict of National Accountability Court against Sharif Family.

Islamabad High Court (IHC) asked the law ministry to remove Judge of Accountability Court Arshad Malik from his position after days of growing pressure.

The Minister for Law Dr Farogh Nasim told a news conference that “Judge of Accountability Court Arshad Malik was asked to stop working on the basis of the alleged video and the press release.”

The scandal over blackmail claims relating to the jailing of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges adds to an already heated political climate in Pakistan where the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan, which came to power last year vowing to root out corruption, has been facing rising economic difficulties.

It was expressed by the minister in a press conference that following the letter of Acting Chief Justice Islamabad, Justice Aamir Farooq written to the Ministry of Law and Justice in which he asked the Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik to hand over his services to the parent department.

He further informed that after getting the letter of Islamabad High Court (IHC), the law division directed Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik to stop working as judge till further orders of concerned quarters.

The Law Minister Arshad Malik expressed that he gave the verdict without any pressure or fear in his affidavit. He added that the punishments exist for efforts to threaten or bribe judges, as per the report of Radio Pakistan.

The Law Minister Arshad Malik spoke to the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on the occasion and he said that Panama case is a saga that starts on greed and ends on corruption.

The Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar responded to a question by saying that the Judge Arshad Malik was given offer of ten billion rupees as bribe. He further added that he was threatened by Sharif family with the help of its right hand Nasir Butt if he does not obey their orders.

The Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar further said that it is high time to expose all elements that were involved in this video scandal.

The Law Minister Justice Arshad Malik said that he has been threatened by the opposition by showing a 16-year-old video.

The removal of accountability court judge Arshad Malik prompted immediate calls by the PML-N party of Sharif family for the release of the 69-year-old former premier, who is serving a seven-year jail sentence.

The party spokeswoman Marriyum Aurangzeb said that “The decision against Nawaz Sharif should be dismissed and he should be released immediately.” She further added that conviction of Sharif should be considered “void”.

Last year, Sharif was convicted and jailed after failing to prove the source of income that had led to his ownership of a steel mill in Saudi Arabia.

The PML-N has disputed the conviction and party leaders presented a video last week in which it was apparently showed that Malik said he had been pressured into ruling in favor of conviction by individuals with compromising footage against him.

Affidavit submitted by AC judge Arshad Malik

Judge of Accountability Court Arshad Malik has submitted an affidavit in the Islamabad High Court today (Friday) following the video controversy surrounding the trial of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Earlier, all the allegations leveled by Maryam Nawaz regarding were rejected by the senior Judge of Accountability Court Arshad Malik victimizing ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif in fake corruption cases.

A statement has been released by the senior Judge of Accountability Court Arshad Malik in which he termed the leaked video played by PML-N leaders during their press conference fake, fabricated and out of context.

He added that he was not pressurized by anyone to deliver verdict against Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia reference and added that the decision was announced while fulfilling all the requirements of justice. He added that he should have not acquitted Nawaz Sharif in one case and sentenced him in another case if I was under pressure.

The senior Judge of Accountability Court Arshad Malik told that he had old relation with Nasir Butt, the person shown talking to him in the alleged video, and his brother Abdullah Butt who used to often meet him.

He further revealed that the leaders of PML-N offered him bribe when he was hearing National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references against Sharif family.

The representatives of PML-N also threatened me with dire consequences if I rejected to fulfill their “demands”, the senior Judge of Accountability Court Arshad Malik claimed.

The NAB court judge said, “I had then left my case to Almighty and chosen to stick to the truth.” PML-N conducted press conference to make my decisions controversial so that they can gain political benefits, the senior Judge of Accountability Court Arshad Malik stated.

The senior Judge of Accountability Court Arshad Malik further demanded the authorities to take legal action against those involved in this conspiracy.

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