Video evidence by Maryam Nawaz is fake and assumptive: Judge Arshad Malik
08 July, 2019
Accountability court judge Arshad Malik on Sunday hit back at Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, calling the so-called video evidence presented by her at a press conference a day earlier ‘fake and assumptive’.
“The videos shown during the press conference are fake and based on lies and assumptions,” the judge said in a press release issued by his office, a day after Maryam Nawaz opened a Pandora’s box with a startling claim that the accountability court judge had confessed that he had been ‘pressurised and blackmailed’ to convict her father in the Al-Azizia reference.
In the press statement, Judge Arshad Malik rejected Maryam Nawaz’s allegations that he had convicted Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference under ‘immense pressure from hidden hands’, saying that the former prime minister was convicted on the basis of evidence. “I have seen the press conference as well as the video attributed to me. Serious allegations have been levelled against me under a conspiracy to damage my credibility as well as that of my institution and my family. Therefore, I want to clarify the facts,” he said in the press release.
“I am a resident of Rawalpindi where, before being appointed as a judge, I would work as a lawyer. The individual shown in the video, Nasir Butt, is also from the same city and an old acquaintance. Nasir Butt and his brother Abdullah Butt have met me many a time at several occasions,” the judge said. “The video shown in Maryam Safdar sahiba’s press conference is not only contrary to the facts but it is also a despicable attempt to mesh together various instances and topics spoken about, and to present them out of context,” he added.
“After Maryam Safdar sahiba’s press conference, it has become necessary that the truth be brought forward,” the judge continued. “During the hearing of the cases against Nawaz Sharif and his family, I was repeatedly offered bribes by their representatives and also given threats of serious consequences if I did not cooperate,” he alleged. “I decided to stay committed to the truth and left my life and wealth in the hands of God,” he maintained. “Had I announced the verdict under pressure or over greed of bribes, I would not have acquitted him [Nawaz Sharif] in one case and convicted him in the other,” he said.
“While dispensing justice, I announced conviction of Nawaz Sharif on the basis of evidence in the Al-Azizia case and acquitted him in the Flagship case,” the judge said. “I also want to make it clear that indirectly or directly, neither was there any pressure on me nor was there any greed,” he went on to say. “I made these decisions knowing that God is omnipresent and on the basis of the law and the facts,” he added.
“This press conference was held merely to make my decisions controversial/disputable and to gain political advantages,” the judge stressed. “The videos shown during the press conference are fake and based on lies and assumptions. Therefore, legal action should be taken against those individuals involved in this,” he added.
On Dec 4, 2018, Judge Arshad Malik had handed the ousted prime minister seven years in jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference, but on the same day acquitted him in a second reference related to Flagship Investments, saying there was no case against him.
Addressing a press conference in Model Town along with entire senior party leadership, including her uncle and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam had on Saturday claimed that judge Arshad Malik had given verdict under immense pressure while awarding seven-year imprisonment to Nawaz Sharif in the Al Azizia Steel Mill reference. She had also played a video recording of judge Arshad Malik and PML-N worker Nasir Butt in which the judge purportedly claimed that he was under immense pressure to give the verdict against Nawaz Sharif.