Nawaz Sharif files fresh petition before IHC to hear 'other side' of former judge Malik video scandal

07:26 PM | 5 Oct, 2019
Nawaz Sharif files fresh petition before IHC to hear 'other side' of former judge Malik video scandal
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ISLAMABAD - Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif petitioned the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday to review the evidence linked to a controversial video and statement of former accountability judge Arshad Malik before making any judgment on an appeal against his conviction in the Al-Azizia case.

The petition moved by Nawaz's lawyer stated that judge Malik's statement "showed one side of the argument", urging the court to hear the other side as well.

The PML-N supremo appealed the court to take into consideration the arguments and evidence regarding the judge's video before passing a verdict on his previous appeal.

Besides Sharif, Nasir Butt, who is suspected to be the second person in judge Malik's 'confession' video, also filed an appeal in the high court and urged it to include the documents in the appeal filed by Nawaz.

The documents submitted by Butt include notarised copies of the video's audio transcript, audio-cum-video transcript, the appellant's affidavit attested by the Pakistan High Commission in the United Kingdom.

Besides the petitions submitted before the august court, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested Nasir Butt's nephew, Hamza Butt, today and another relative named Shoaib during a raid on the residence of Nasir's brother in Rawalpindi.

Hamza and Shoaib were initially relocated to the FIA headquarters in Islamabad. However, Shoaib was later released on the condition that he would appear before the agency when summoned.

Saturday seems to be an eventful day regarding the case as FIA claimed to have arrested a suspect who allegedly recorded the video of the meeting between Nasir Butt and judge Malik - the meeting whose clip shown by Maryam Nawaz in his press conference.

A spokesman for the agency said the suspect, identified as Faisal Shaheen, was arrested during a late-night raid in Rawalpindi after which his remand was obtained until Monday.

Sharif's Conviction and Judge Video Scandal

In December 2018, Nawaz was sentenced to seven years in prison after then accountability judge Arshad Malik found him guilty in the Al Azizia corruption case.

In July this year, Nawaz's daughter Maryam Nawaz raised questions about the judgment after showing a video clip in which Malik was discussing the aspects of the conviction with Nasir Butt.

Malik was removed from his position after the video was released and has been repatriated to the Lahore High Court.

While deciding a slew of petitions regarding the video leak saga, the Supreme Court had ruled in August that the video cannot be of any legal benefit to the former premier unless it is properly produced before the Islamabad High Court in the pending appeal.

Soon after the video emerged, PML-N leaders demanded the release of the former premier who is behind bars at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.

The references, against which Sharif was sent behind bars, were filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the directives of the Supreme Court after the judgment on the Panama Papers case.