ISLAMABAD: Law Minister Farogh Naseem said on Friday that accountability court judge Arshad Malik has been stopped from performing duty until the completion of an inquiry into the controversial leaked video. The judge has been asked to report to the Lahore High Court registrar.
At the same time, he said that the conviction of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia reference will remain in place until the Islamabad High Court decides about an appeal filed by him against his conviction.
The law minister said that no sentence can be overturned unless the high court finds the verdict was issued under duress by the accountability judge.
Addressing a press conference, he said that the law ministry, the government and the prime minister were on the same page and stand by the judiciary and no pressure will be tolerated. He said that no blackmailing or threatening of institutions will be tolerated. Naseem said that the issue was that of the money trail and the day, he (Nawaz) provide the money trail, the case will come to an automatic conclusion.
He said that Judge Arshad Malk has submitted an affidavit denying the allegations against him and further investigation into the leaked video was pending.
Citing the affidavit of judge Arshad Malik, Prime Minister Special Assistant on Accountability Shahzad Akbar alleged that the PML-N tried to influence the case against Sharif and Nasir Butt allegedly threatened judge Arshad Malik, asking him to go abroad and release the video clips. He claimed that PML-N cronies attempted to influence through bribe starting from Rs100 million to Rs500 million. He said that Nasir Butt and some other characters tried to blackmail the judge to get a verdict in their favour.
He demanded that how the judge was trapped and blackmailed to give a confessional statement. He said that the conviction was there and the IHC will decide about the case.
Akbar said that the Supreme Court has declared the Sharif family Sicilian mafia and Sharif has been convicted after he failed to provide the money trail. he said that consultations were underway to start a formal probe into the leaked video, the alleged blackmailing of judge Arshad Malik and the alleged attempt of the Sharif family to influence the court proceedings.