IHC seeks FIA record in judge video leak case

Justice Minallah raises questions over the performance of inquiry team


​ Our Correspondent May 14, 2020
Judge Arshad Malik. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Thursday directed the Federal Investigation Agency to submit the entire record of the inquiry into the judge Arshad Malik video scandal.

A two-member bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah and also comprising Justice Aamer Farooq was hearing the plea of the accused the case, Mian Tariq Mehmood, who sought bail on medical grounds.

The IHC chief justice asked the investigation officer of the case as to what constitutes a crime from the FIA’s perspective and whether or not a judge could adopt the stance that he was drugged before being filmed.

The head of the FIA investigation team told the court that that the video, in which the judge could be seen in a compromising position, was filmed between 2001 and 2003 and a forensic examination had proved that it was genuine.

“How did the judge realise after so many years that he was drugged and filmed?” Justice Minallah inquired.

He added that the judge had admitted himself that the video was genuine and confessed to his misconduct.

The court raised questions over the performance of the FIA team and sought the investigation record of the case. “Did you record the statement of the judge? Why did the judge go to somebody’s house where the video was filmed?” Justice Minallah asked. The hearing was later adjourned to until May 21.

Mehmood, who was named in the affidavit submitted by Judge Malik to the IHC, was arrested in July last year.

The law ministry had barred Arshad Malik from serving as an accountability court judge after the IHC requested his removal over a controversial video unveiled by the PML-N in which he was heard saying that he was blackmailed into convicting former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

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Malik in an affidavit submitted to the IHC stated that he was blackmailed by the PML-N leadership using a clip of him — described by the judge as “Multan video” — to rule in favour of Nawaz.

He claimed that he was offered Rs500 million by the son of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif to resign on the pretext that he could “no longer deal with the guilt of having convicted the former premier under duress and without evidence”.

“Mian Tariq [Mehmood], an old social acquaintance from the time I was serving in Multan as additional district and sessions judge from 2000-2003, showed me a secretly recorded and manipulated immoral video in a compromising position saying that is it you doing this when you were serving in Multan,” the judge wrote in the affidavit.

The judge further claimed that he was blackmailed after being shown the video” and told to record an audio message that he delivered the verdicts to appease the “ruling elite” under an immense pressure and that substantial evidence was not available against the former prime minister.

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