ISLAMABAD 7th July: Accountability court judge Arshad Malik on Sunday claimed that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership had offered him a bribe ahead of the December 24 Al-Azizia reference verdict against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Refuting the controversial claims made by PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz in a press conference a day earlier, the accountability judge alleged that the party leadership “had gone as far as threatening him into delivering a verdict that finds Nawaz innocent”.
Judge Malik, in a press release, clarified his stance and confirmed that deposed premier Nawaz was indeed found guilty on basis of evidence.
“I did not crack under pressure and found Nawaz guilty in the Al-Azizia reference,” he said, stating that former PM Nawaz would not have been acquitted in the Flagship reference had the verdict been fallacious.
Terming Saturday’s press conference ‘politicking’ by the PML-N leadership, judge Malik stated that the video clip was fake. “I shall initiate legal action against them,” he said.
On June 6, PML-N leader Maryam revealed a ‘damning’ video that purportedly showed judge Malik admitting that he had been ‘blackmailed’ into convicting jailed ex-premier Nawaz despite the fact there was no evidence of corruption against him in Al-Azizia reference.
The ‘explosive video’, which has yet to be verified independently, was shown to media persons by Maryam at a news conference in Lahore. Senior PML-N leaders including Shehbaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal were present at the occasion.
In the video, the judge is reportedly having a conversation with a man — named Nasir Butt — who Maryam claimed to be a PML-N worker. The judge can be heard telling Butt that he had been ‘blackmailed’ using a personal video 10 years earlier.