Judiciary to probe controversial video, says PM’s aide on accountability

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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Monday said that the judiciary will investigate the controversial video of Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik who had last year sentenced former Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference.

Addressing a press conference, the special assistant said that the government has decided to let the judiciary probe the video in order to avoid any backlash from the opposition if it decided to investigate it itself. “A judicial commission should be formed to probe the scandal and it should be overseen by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) or the Supreme Court (SC),” he added.

He also demanded that a forensic audit of the video should be conducted to bring the facts to light. “Nasir Butt, the man who was described as a PML-N worker is a convicted criminal who has served jail time,” he said.

The special assistant said that PML-N has a history of attacking the judiciary. He also reiterated that a top judge had drawn similarities between the PML-N leadership and the Sicilian Mafia in one of his verdicts.

On June 6, PML-N VP Maryam Nawaz had said alleged that the judge had been blackmailed into giving the verdict against Nawaz despite knowing that he was “innocent”.

Maryam also showed the reporters an alleged confessional video statement of Arshad Malik in which he tells a PML-N worker that he could find “no proof of corruption against the former premier”. “There is no evidence of a single penny being shifted from Pakistan illegally,” Maryam quoted the judge as saying in the video after showing it to the reporters.

The video was dismissed by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan as fake. She also demanded that a forensic audit be conducted of the video.

On Sunday, Judge Malik himself issued a stark denial of the authenticity of the video, saying that it was an attempt of mixing up facts to present them out of context. On which, Maryam said that the content of the video had been “attested by the fact that the judge did not deny its authenticity”. She also said that the video has vindicated Nawaz in front of 22 billion people.