Nasir Janjua, 2 other suspects in videogate set free for lack of evidence


ISLAMABAD: A local court on Saturday set free three suspects from the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) custody after a report from the agency showed that no evidence was found against them in connection with an investigation into a video leak scandal involving former accountability court judge Arshad Malik.

Nasir Janjua, Mahar Ghulam Jilani and Khurram Yousaf, who were arrested earlier this week and sent on a five-day physical remand, were all set free after the FIA told the court that no evidence was found against them during the investigation.

The three men were picked up in connection with Judge Malik’s FIR against them for allegedly pressurising and blackmailing him.

During an earlier hearing, Janjua’s lawyer had repeatedly argued that the FIA’s report stated that the plan to record the video — in which judge Malik allegedly confessed to convicting former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference under pressure, according to the PML-N — was hatched by Nasir Butt, and that his clients had nothing to do with it.

Judge Malik — who had in December last year sentenced Nawaz Sharif to seven years in jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference and acquitted him in the Flagship Investment case — has been at the centre of controversy since July 6, when PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz alleged that he had been “blackmailed” into giving the verdict against Sharif.

According to judge Malik’s affidavit — presented to the Islamabad High Court chief justice as a rebuttal to Maryam’s press conference — an old acquaintance of his, Tariq Mahmood, had been the one to show him a “secretly recorded manipulated immoral video [showing him] in a compromising position” that was shot while the judge was serving in Multan.

The judge claimed that this video was later used by Sharif’s long-time supporter Butt to blackmail him.