AC Judge Arshad Malik barred over video scandal until further investigation: Farogh Naseem

ISLAMABAD (DNA) – Minister for Law Dr Farogh Nasim on Friday said that senior judge Arshad Malik was barred from accountability court until further investigation on scandal over blackmail claims relating to the jailing of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges. Addressing to a press conference, Farogh Naseem expressed that no one is allowed to pressurize the courts. He said that Justice Arshad Malik defended himself saying he gave an unbiased verdict as Nawaz Sharif was also acquitted in one of the two cases and he would have held him accountable in both the cases if he was pressurized. Farogh went on to say that there is a punishment for pressurizing the judges during hearings and law and justice will prevail by not allowing it to happen. “Arshad Malik can be jailed for ten years if found guilty,” he added. He asserted that Islamabad High Court (IHC) will review the case but no sentence will be reverted if someone was found accountable for their crime. He added that the problem in Panama case was related to money trailing and they can escape this case by providing those trails. Justice Arshad Malik said that the opposition is threatening him by showing 16 year old video. Following the video controversy surrounding the trial of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Judge of Accountability Court Arshad Malik has submitted an affidavit in the Islamabad High Court today (Friday). Earlier, judge Arshad Malik had rejected all the allegations leveled by Maryam Nawaz regarding victimizing ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif in fake corruption cases. The judge had released a statement and termed the leaked video played by PML-N leaders during their press conference fake, fabricated and out of context. He said that he was not pressurized by anyone to deliver verdict against Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia reference and that the decision was announced while fulfilling all the requirements of justice. I should have not acquitted Nawaz Sharif in one case and sentenced him in another case if I was under pressure, he asserted. 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 me. He revealed that PML-N leaders offered him bribe when he was hearing National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references against Sharif family. The PML-N representatives also threatened me with dire consequences if I rejected to fulfill their “demands”, he claimed. 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, he stated. Arshad Malik further demanded the authorities to take legal action against those involved in this conspiracy.