Maryam urges judiciary to void Al-Azizia verdict post judge Malik removal reports

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice-president Maryam Nawaz on Friday called for the verdict against her father former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to be declared void following the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) decision to remove accountability judge Arshad Malik from his post.

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In a series of tweets, the PML-N VP said that the matter was not about the removal of a judge instead it was about suspending the verdict that the judge had issued. “The matter is about suspending the verdict, which this judge had given under pressure, from the court record,” she wrote.

Judge Malik, on Dec 4, 2018, had handed the expelled premier seven years in jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference, but on the same day acquitted him in a second reference related to Flagship Investments, saying “there was no case against Nawaz”.

“The clear meaning of the removal of the judge is that the judiciary has accepted the truth,” Maryam said in another tweet. “If this is the case, how can a verdict by this judge being maintained?” she questioned.

In a third tweet, Maryam asked, “a judge […] was found guilty of misconduct and was removed from his post; how can the subject of his misconduct be punished?”

An individual, who had remained the prime minister of Pakistan three times, was behind bars despite being proven to be innocent today, Maryam added.

“Is it enough just to remove the judge? Certainly not,” she wrote.

She requested the judiciary to declare void the verdict against her father and to release him without any delays.

“Now this matter is not restricted just to Nawaz Sharif. I am turning to the judiciary for justice. I will keep waiting,” she further added.

The PML-N immediately reacted to the news regarding the removal of the judge, with its spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb saying that the verdict against Nawaz Sharif should be declared null and void and he should “be released immediately”.

“It has been confirmed that the video is real,” Aurangzeb said in an official statement posted in a tweet, adding, “[The] judge sahib has conceded that he made the decisions under pressure.”

Aurangzeb asserted that after the removal of the judge, the legal basis for the verdict against Nawaz had automatically ended. “After the removal of the judge, it has been proven that the facts that Maryam Nawaz brought before the people of Pakistan were correct,” she added.

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