Judge Video Scandal: Nawaz Sharif files review petition in SC

ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday submitted a review petition in Supreme Court (SC) requesting the apex court to listen to his stance to fulfill requirements of justice in the cases pertaining to the judge Arshad Malik video scandal and Al-Azizia corruption reference.

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The former PM had moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking suspension of his sentence in Al-Azizia reference today. National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman and Kot Lakhpat Jail superintendent were made parties in the plea.

The former premier, in the appeal filed through his counsel, adopted the stance that the statements of witnesses be recorded as a fair trial in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference was his basic right.

The petition stated five people should be made approvers Nasir Butt as well as British experts who prepared the forensic report of the video and audio. Nawaz said the statements of the witnesses were also needed for the court to give a free and fair verdict regarding the main appeal in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference.

The court also issued a notice to NAB in this regard.

IHC adjourned proceedings against the former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo’s sentence in Al-Azizia reference for two weeks.

The PML-N supreme leader was sentenced to seven years in prison and was fined Rs1.5 billion and $25 million in the Al-Azizia corruption reference by an accountability court on December 24, 2018.

However, he was acquitted in another reference related to Flagship Investments.

Meanwhile, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday filed a petition seeking shifting of the judge Arshad Malik video scandal case to Anti-terrorism Court (ATC) from Anti-electronic crime court (AECC).

The anti-electronic crime court took up the video scandal case for hearing today. During the proceedings, FIA didn’t file a complete Challan of the case despite court strict orders.

FIA while inflicting terrorism sections upon suspects of judge video scandal filed plea to shift the case in Anti-Terrorism court. Court has sought arguments from prosecutor FIA upon the next hearing.

In an affidavit submitted to the IHC, Malik denied the contents of the video — which allegedly showed him admitting to a lack of evidence against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif — and termed them edited, fabricated, and aimed to defame him.

The court had issued notices to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Raja Zafarul Haq, and others.

On a petition submitted by a citizen named Ishtiaq Ahmed, the top court took up the case. Ahmed appealed to the apex court for an independent judicial inquiry of the video scandal.

On July 12, judge Arshad Malik was relieved from his post by the federal government for his alleged involvement in the controversial video scandal.

Malik, in a letter written for IHC, claimed that Hussain Nawaz offered him a bribe, adding, “Nasir Janjua came to meet me and claimed that he had the cash equivalent of Rs 100 million in Euros for me immediately available out of which the Euro equivalent of Rs 20 million was laying in his car parked outside.”

He added, “I was told that Mian Sahib is willing to pay whatever I demand on acquitting him in both references. However, I declined the bribe offered to me while committing remains sticking to merits.”

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