The Islamabad High Court acting chief justice has asked the federal law ministry to remove Judge Arshad Malik from his position as an accountability court judge until an investigation against him is completed.
Judge Malik submitted on Friday a letter and statement in the Islamabad High Court in his defence in the video case.
Justice Aamer Farooq reviewed both the letter and statement and said he should be removed from the position and stopped from hearing all cases until the investigation is completed.
In his letter, the accountability court II judge said that there has never been any pressure on him to announce verdicts. He referenced a press release he issued earlier in which he denied Maryam Nawaz’s claims that he had been pressured into giving a verdict against her father, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
During an explosive press conference, Maryam claimed the judge was blackmailed into convicting Nawaz without any evidence and had admitted that. According to her, Judge Malik called PML-N leader Nasir Butt to his house himself to clear his conscience and she showed a video clip from their meeting.
But Judge Malik says that video clip is not representative of their conversation. He said it was cut and edited and was not reflective of what he said. He also said that the PML-N, more notably Nawaz’s family, tried to bribe him during his trial and when he didn’t cooperate, they threatened him.
If I had to succumb to pressure or threats, I wouldn’t acquit him in one case and convict him in the other, he asserted. Judge Malik convicted Nawaz in the Al Azizia Steel Mills case and acquitted him in the Flagship reference.
He also called for an investigation into the video. Justice Farooq asked the law ministry to immediately issue a notification withdrawing his powers.