ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday has decided to remove Arshad Malik as accountability court judge after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz unveiled his alleged video during a press conference.
The court’s spokesman said that acting chief justice of IHC has written a letter to law ministry, seeking to withdraw services of Arshad Malik.
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.
Maryam Nawaz’s press conference
Earlier on July 6, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz said we have solid evidences that ex-premier Nawaz was victimized by the courts in fake corruption cases.
While talking to a presser along with PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif and senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, she said that three times prime minister was put in jail at the age of 70 by a trial court. She said that corruption allegations were made on Nawaz Sharif but no proves were shown, adding that everyone knows this is not accountability but victimization.
Maryam Nawaz also unveiled a video clip whereby accountability judge Arshad Malik could be heard saying that there was “no proof of corruption against the deposed premier” in the December 24 Al-Azizia reference.
She said the judge had contacted Nasir Butt and told him that he was feeling guilty and having nightmares ever since he announced the verdict that led to Nawaz Sharif’s imprisonment.
The PML-N leader claimed that the accountability judge was coerced into delivering the Al-Azizia verdict against him [Nawaz]. She further demanded acquittal of Nawaz Sharif on the basis of evidences shown in video, adding that she respects every institution of Pakistan.
At the end of the press conference, she said that she has much bigger proof than this.
NAB cases against Nawaz Sharif
In December 2018, an accountability court sentenced former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to seven-year rigorous imprisonment after it found him guilty in Al-Azizia reference, one of the three graft cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in line with the apex court order.
The Supreme Court on July 28, 2017, disqualified Nawaz in Panama Papers case and ordered NAB to file separate cases which were respectively called Avenfiled, Al-Azizia and Flagship references.
Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik had acquitted Sharif in Flagship reference while the former premier and his family members were already convicted in Avenfield case.