Maryam distancing herself from judge’s video: FIA

Published: August 21, 2019
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Maryam Nawaz. PHOTO: FILE

Maryam Nawaz. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Vice President Maryam Nawaz had dissociated herself from the controversial video of former accountability court judge Arshad Malik.

Submitting a 105-page report on the video scandal, the FIA told the court that it had yet to complete its investigation into the case.

“Maryam Safdar who led the press conference of the PML-N senior leadership and gave a detailed narrative and commentary on the audio/video attributed to the complainant while playing it has attempted to distance and disassociate herself from the details and specifics of its acquisition, origins, source, recording, dissemination, release and timing and also the specifics of the individual who actually undertook and conducted the recording,” the report read.

“In her reply, she [Maryam] has sought to place the entire responsibility and burden in respect of aforementioned matters upon accused Nasir Mehmood Butt. As regards the subject video, again, Maryam Safdar now claims not to have ever obtained or seen the same and has sought to completely disassociate herself from the subject video, although, according to the transcript received from PEMRA, she spoke at length of the subject video in the following terms at the press conference of 6-7-2019 which contradicts her later stance,” it added.

The FIA in its report stated that PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif had also distanced himself from the video.

“As per reply of Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif to the FIA questionnaire, he claimed ignorance stating that Maryam Safdar can give clarifications regarding the video at the judge’s residence made by accused Nasir Mehmood Butt. Other participants namely Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Ahsan Iqbal and Attaullah Tarrar of questioned press conference dated 06-07-2019 adopted a similar stance,” according to the report.

The FIA informed the court that a forensic test of the 2003 video of judge Malik was conducted which proved its authenticity.
Malik performed two Umrahs in two months and stayed in Saudi Arabia from 23 March to April 4 2019 and then from May 28 to June 8.

“The subject video of complainant Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik was made by the accused Mian Tariq Mehmood r/o Multan from 2000 to 2003, when the former was posted as additional district and sessions judge, Multan,” the report added.

“As per affidavit dated 11-07-2019 of Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik complainant, he was contacted by two acquaintances namely Maher Ghulam Jilani and Mian Nasir Janjua. During the meeting, accused Mian Nasir Janjua claimed that he was appointed as the judge on his specific and personal recommendation to an influential person in the then PML-N government.”

The FIA further stated that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Reference No 18/2017 (Flagship Reference) and Reference No 19/2017 (HME Reference) were transferred for trial to accountability court No. II, Islamabad in August 2018 after five months of the appointment of the complainant judge.

“As per affidavit dated 11-07-2019 of the complainant judge, at a social sitting attended by both accused Nasir Janjua and Maher Ghulam Jilani, the accused Nasir Janjua took him aside and implored him to give [a] verdict of acquittal in both the said references. Besides, judge’s deposed that he was again approached by accused Nasir Janjua and Maher Ghulam Jilani who offered him Euros equivalent to Rs100 million and immediately Euros equivalent to Rs20 million were available in their vehicle outside. However, [the] offer of the bribe was made prior to the decision of the references.”

It added: “Reference 18 and 19 of 2017 of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif ex-prime minister were decided on 24-12-2018. As per the affidavit of the complainant judge, the accused Nasir Butt met him and threatened him regarding [the] revelation of subject video by accused Nasir Janjua. Whereas at that time the complainant judge showed his ignorance about such video and accused Nasir Mehmood Butt told him that he will be shown the same in a couple of days. After [a] couple of days, accused Mian Tariq Mehmood visited the house of complainant Judge Malik and showed him the subject video.”

The report stated: “During [the] confrontation between the complainant Judge Malik and accused Nasir Janjua, when the complainant was asked whether accused Nasir Janjua ever personally showed the subject video to him, the complainant Judge Malik replied that he did not. However, the complainant maintained the version and accusations in his affidavit and complaint.”

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