Judge Arshad Malik, the accountability judge who sentenced Nawaz Sharif to jail and whom Maryam Nawaz says was pressured into doing so, has issued a statement denying Maryam’s assertions.
During an explosive press conference on Saturday, 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 was referring to assertions made by Maryam that he was blackmailed into convicting Nawaz because his blackmailers had personal videos of him. In the video shown by Maryam, he reportedly said he had even contemplated suicide because of the video in response to Butt’s assertion that the video would ruin his life.
Judge Malik said he had heard and decided the case according to merit and the law. They are trying to put a political twist on the issue, he said. He admitted that he knew Butt and his brother and said they were old acquaintances. He said the PML-N was trying to defame him and the court.
Following Maryam’s press conference, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan said the federal government would be getting the video of Judge Malik forensically tested.