Pakistani judge who jailed former PM Nawaz Sharif sacked over blackmail claims

Cheryl Sanders
July 13, 2019

Barrister Raheel Kamran Sheikh said the petition was fixed very timely as it was undisputedly of public importance that has been affecting administration of justice and put on trial credibility of the judicial system in Pakistan and undermining the rule of law.

However, Justice Farooq chose to write to the law ministry to relieve Justice Malik from his position as an accountability court judge until an investigation against him is completed, they said. During a recent press meet, Maryam had claimed that the judge was blackmailed into issuing a verdict against her father.

The offer was shortly followed by a "thinly veiled threat of physical harm and intimidation" by Nasir Butt, the PML-N "sympathiser" who recorded the video shared by Maryam that started the controversy, the judge claimed.

Arshad Malik is now hearing the fake accounts case against former president Asif Ali Zardari, rental power case against former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and references against former prime minister Shaukat Aziz. The PML-N representatives also threatened me with dire consequences if I rejected to fulfill their "demands", he claimed.

In his affidavit, judge Malik claimed that Nasir Butt and Nasir Janjua used the manipulated immoral video to blackmail him time and again. After their failed attempts, they showed him the immoral Multan video telling him that "it is you doing this when you were serving in Multan", he said.

He said that he met the former premier at his Jati Umra residence on April 6, 2019, where he told Nawaz that the decision was on merit.

He also said that later Nasir Butt approached him and said that Nawaz's lawyers had drafted an appeal and wanted him to have a look at it.

On December 24, 2018, an accountability court had sentenced Nawaz to seven years in prison in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference and acquitted him in the Flagship reference.

"The threat was delivered by Nasir Butt saying to me in an intimidating tone that he owed Nawaz Sharif a lot, as he (ex-premier) had helped him avoid punishment for 4-5 murders committed by him (Butt) by using his huge political influence and, therefore, he (Butt) was willing to go to any extent to help [Nawaz] in the trials he was facing", judge Malik claimed.

The PML-N leader claimed that the accountability judge was coerced into delivering the Al-Azizia verdict against him [Nawaz]. "If this is the case, how can a verdict by this judge be maintained", she asked. He also requested the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Maryam Nawaz if her allegations found to be untrue.

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