Salman Akram Raja, prominent lawyer of Supreme Court of Pakistan, also commented on the affidavit and pointed out if the judge was too late to write it. "Arshad Malik Sb's affidavit states he came under pressure because of a video of his activities & made statements that were recorded; that he was threatened & bribes were offered but remained quiet & has no witnesses".
The Islamabad high court asked the Pakistan law ministry on Friday to remove accountability court judge Arshad Malik who had allegedly confessed in a video that he had been "pressured and blackmailed" to convict former PM Nawaz Sharif in a corruption case.
Advocate Ishtiaq Ahmed Mirza had filed the petition through his counsel Chaudhry Munir Sadiq under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution, making the federal government, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz, senior PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Nasir Butt and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) as respondents. The judge said that he denied the authenticity of any such video.
"Nasir Janjua claimed that he had the cash of equivalent of Rs100 million in Euros for me immediately available out of which the Euro equivalent of Rs20 million was laying in his vehicle parked outside", he said, adding that he denied the bribe while remaining committed to giving the verdict on merit.
He called the video "a lie [and] fake" and accused the Sharif family of threatening and offering him a bribe in exchange for acquitting the former prime minister. Sources said Malik had failed to convince the chief justice with his answers regarding the video controversy.
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.
She claimed the judge was blackmailed into convicting Nawaz without any evidence and had admitted that.
Malik's removal on Friday prompted immediate calls by Sharif's PML-N party for the release of the 69-year-old former prime minister, who is now serving a seven-year jail sentence in the Kot Lakhpat jail in the eastern city of Lahore. The minister said the conviction of Sharif can only be overturned by a high court. In the letter, the judge of the accountability court II said that he had never been coerced into announcing verdicts. In a series of posts shared on Twitter, Maryam said the matter was not about the removal of a judge but about suspending the verdict that the judge had issued. 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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