Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz told the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday that former accountability court judge Arshad Malik’s “subjective video” is “authentic”, a local news outlet reported on Monday.
Responding to the 41 questions posed by team investigating the scandal, she said that the video is “original and has not been tempered with or edited in any way”.
“The video as presented was not edited — rather the video played on one side of the screen, while the Urdu transcript ran on the other half of the screen — Nasir Butt told me that there was a video [as well as] audio and these were recorded simultaneously on two separate devices. He also told me that the device in which the video-cum-audio was recorded was in the pocket of the person accompanying Nasir Butt, however, that other person’s name and particulars are not known,” Maryam said in her response.
While answering the question related to the origins of video, she said, “Nasir Butt told me about it the day Nawaz Sharif was returning to prison and expressed interest in meeting me within two days. Thereafter, he met with me at my residence at Jati Umra, Raiwind, Lahore and showed me the video that was played during the presser. On May 10, 2019, he delivered, to my residence, a mobile phone (devoid of a sim card) that contained the said copy of the video.”
When asked about the purpose of filming the video, the PML-N leader said, “As per Nasir Butt, the purpose was to record the facts and circumstances forming the basis for the conviction and sentencing of MNS, as known to and disclosed by judge Arshad Malik.”
When the FIA team asked her about the purpose of holding a press conference on July 6, 2019, she responded said the “purpose of the presser was to bring to notice the gross injustice that had been perpetrated in rendering the judgment against Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia Reference No 19/2017”.
“I firmly believe that access to justice in fundamental rights guaranteed to all the citizens of Pakistan and that denial of justice to any citizen is tantamount to the denial of his/her right to life, liberty, dignity, fair trial and equality. All of which are fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973,” she added.
She also said that Nasir Butt is the senior vice president of the party in the United Kingdom since 2010. I have known Nasir Butt for a number of years in his capacity as a fervent supporter and office holder of the PML-N in the UK, however, his interactions have remained limited with the PML-N only and not with myself in person, she added. She further told the FIA team that she never asked Nasir Butt to record his meetings with judge Arshad Malik.
Replying to the question about the location where the video was filmed, Maryam told the investigation team that Nasir Butt told her that the video was recorded in judge’s house and a little portion of it was recorded outdoors
When asked if she had the original device used for filing the video, she said that she had no knowledge of the device used for filming the video and did not have possession of the original device. When asked about the laptop used during the presser, she said it had been given to her by a man sent by Nasir Butt and the person had taken the laptop away after the press conference.
Responding to questions about the ‘objectionable’ video of the judge, she said she had not seen it but the judge mentions it in the leaked video himself and this is how she learned about its existence. When asked whether she knew which institutions were blackmailing the judge, she said that it was indicated in the contents of the video itself and she does not have to spell it out for the investigative agency.
When asked if there were any more videos of the former accountability court judge, she said they were not in her possession.