ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday requested the law ministry to remove accountability court judge Arshad Malik over the video controversy.
Earlier in the day, judge Malik had written a letter to the IHC refuting Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz’s allegations and the video purportedly showing the judge admitting to lack of evidence against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
In an affidavit submitted to the IHC, Malik denied the contents of the video and termed them as edited, fabricated, aimed to defame him, sources said.
According to an IHC spokesperson, acting IHC Chief Justice Amir Farooq received judge Malik’s letter and then decided to request the law ministry to remove him from the post.
The spokesperson further said, on the order of Chief Justice Farooq, judge Malik’s affidavit and letter has been made part of Nawaz Sharif’s acquittal plea.
Judge Arshad Malik interrogated: sources
Sources said, the IHC chief justice had summoned judge Malik two to three times and interrogated him regarding the controversy.
Sources said, judge Malik was interrogated about meeting PML-N’s Butt and others, however, he failed to satisfy the Chief Justice Farooq with his answers.
Judge Arshad Malik’s cases
Judge Malik is currently hearing the fake accounts case against former president Asif Ali Zardari, rental power case against former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and references against former prime minister Shaukat Aziz.
The judge is also hearing several National Accountability Bureau references as well.
Last week, the PML-N had released a video clip of the judge allegedly embroiling Malik.
Maryam alleged that the video shows the judge admitting that no evidence of embezzlement of funds in Pakistan or in Saudi Arabia was found against Hussain Nawaz Sharif.
She said the judge had contacted Nasir Butt, a PML-N worker 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 judge was “blackmailed” into handing down the sentence against Nawaz Sharif after some people threatened that they would release a private video of his, she alleged. She said the judge did not write the sentence but “was made to write” the prison sentence for Nawaz Sharif.
She claimed the judge was under immense pressure to send the former prime minister to jail, and that he had contemplated committing suicide several times since.
Last year, in December, the accountability court judge had sentenced PML-N supremo Nawaz to seven years in prison in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference.
PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb in a post on Twitter said after the IHC’s decision, the case against Nawaz Sharif should be declared void.
“The verdict against Nawaz Sharif should be declared void as it has now confirmed that the video was not fake and that the judge was coerced into indicting the former prime minister,” Aurangzeb said.