ISLAMABAD: Accountability judge, Judge Arshad Malik on Friday submitted an affidavit to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in which he revealed further details regarding the controversy following the release of the alleged video by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
In the affidavit obtained by Hum News, Judge Arshad Malik denied all allegations against him claiming, PML-N leaders tried to bribe him instead to announce a verdict in former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s favour.
“That shortly after my appointment in February 2016 as Judge, Accountability Court No II, Islamabad I was contacted by two acquaintances, Mahar Jilani and Nasir Janjua with whom I met. During this meeting, Nasir Janjua claimed that it was on his specific and personal recommendation to an influential person in the then PML-N Government that I was appointed Judge, Accountability Court No II, Islamabad. To further reinforce this claim Nasir Janjua pointing to another individual who had accompanied him rhetorically asked did I not tell you some weeks ago that Muhammad Arshad Malik is being appointed Judge Accountability Court. In any event, I did not think much of this claim at that time but responded to Nasir Janjua that you should have at least asked for my view before proposing my name and I was not keen to this position as I was aspiring for my posting as Session Judge in District.”
He further said that in August 2018 the Flagship and HME References were transferred for trial to his court. As the trial was underway, he said he was approached by associates of Nawaz Sharif on several occasions and was directed to acquit the former prime minister and accused in the Flagship and HME References.
“At a social sitting also attended by Nasir Janjua and Mahar Jilani, I was taken aside by Nasir Janjua who implored me to give verdicts of acquittal in the HME Reference and Flagship Reference. He told me that it was Nawaz Sharif to whom he had proposed my name as Judge, Accountability Court and that, in these circumstances, unless a favourable verdict was given in favour of Mian Nawaz Sharif, it would be very damaging for me personally. At that time, I responded by saying that “Allah Behtar Kare Ga, Insaf Allah Ka Mansab Hai, Aur Allah Na-Insafi Nahi Karta.”
Judge Malik further wrote that during the time of the trials of the Flagship Reference and HME Reference he was again approached by Nasir Janjua and Mahar Jilani, this time with a financial offer quoting Mian Nawaz Sharif. He said he was told that Mian Nawaz Sharif was willing to pay whatever he demands as long as there is an acquittal verdict in both the HME and Flagship References. He said he was given the choice to pay through any nominee in any country of his choice. After refusing his proposal, Janjua offered him cash equivalent to Rs100 million in Euro’s out which Rs20 million cash was laying in his car outside, he said.
“I declined the bribe offered to me while committing remains sticking to merits.”
The judge further wrote that he was then threatened by Nasir Janjua of physical harm and intimidation. In the statement, Judge Malik says, Nasir was willing to go to any extent to help Nawaz Sharif as the former prime minister helped Janjua avoid the punishment of four to five murders committed by him.
In December 2018, the judge announced his judgements in the HME and Flagship References, both on merit and in accordance with the evidence in each, he said, convicting Mian Nawaz Sharif as charged in the former and acquitting him in the latter.
After the judgement, the bribe and threats were replaced with blackmail, Judge Arshad Malik said.
He said he was blackmailed with the ‘Multan Video” — video of him in a compromising position. He said he was forced to record an audio message, which he was told was only for the satisfaction of the former prime minister. Later, he was forced to accompany Nasir Butt to Jati Umrah to meet Nawaz Sharif. He said on April 6, 2019, he met with the former premier and tried to explain to him that the conviction was on merit and with substantial evidence.
He further states in the affidavit that he was approached to review the grounds of appeal filed by Nawaz Sharif against the judgement in the HME Reference.
“Upon watching the press conference of 06-07-2019 by Ms Mariam Nawaz and the senior leadership of PML-N regarding the judgement in the HME Reference, I realized that the sitting in which I had commented upon the draft memorandum of appeal was secretly recorded as edited and manipulated excerpts of conversation from that meeting were part of the audio/video played at the said press conference. ”
Judge Arshad Malik further said that he was approached by Hussain Nawaz Sharif in Saudi Arabia where he was performing Umrah. He said Hussain offered him a bribe of Rs500 million along with settling him and his family in any country of his choice.
He said the press conference held last week by PML-N leaders was in retaliation to his negative responses.