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Nawaz Urges IHC To Hear ‘Other Side’ Of AC Judge Malik Video Scandal

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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday requested the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to review the evidence in connection with a controversial video and statement of former accountability court (AC) judge Arshad Malik before giving a decision on his appeal against his conviction in the Al Azizia corruption case.

Last month, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo’s lawyer Khawaja Haris had requested a two-judge bench to include “verified copies” of a press release and an affidavit submitted to IHC by judge Malik — following the release of a controversial video of the judge — to the paper book of the former premier’s petition. The court accepted the request.

On Saturday, the petition submitted by Sharif’s lawyer stated that Malik’s statement showed one side of the argument only, and urged the court to also hear the “other side”.

The counsel prayed before the court to consider the arguments and evidence linked with the judge’s video before reaching a verdict on his previous appeal.

Last year in December, Sharif was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined Rs1.5 billion and $25 million when the then accountability judge Malik had found him guilty in the Al Azizia Steel Mills corruption case.

The PML-N supremo, currently imprisoned in Kotlakpat jail, filed an appeal against his conviction in the IHC.

In July, Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz, currently in the National Accountability Bureau’s custody, raised questions on the judgement and showed a video clip in which Malik can be heard saying that he was “blackmailed” into convicting Nawaz. She had said that the court decision should be overturned.

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After the video scandal broke out, Malik was removed from his post and was sent back to the Lahore High Court (LHC) where he would face disciplinary action.

Meanwhile, Nasir Butt, suspected to be the person sitting adjacent to judge Malik in the ‘confession’ video, also filed an appeal in the high court on Saturday. He also submitted documents which included notarised copies of the video’s audio transcript, audio-cum-video transcript, the appellant’s affidavit attested by the Pakistan consulate in the United Kingdom (UK) along with other papers.

In his appeal, Butt requested the court to include the documents in the appeal filed by Sharif “in order to secure the ends of justice”. It also stated that Butt was the senior vice president of the PML-N UK since the last 14 years.

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