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IHC bars FIA from arresting Nasir Janjua in judge Arshad Malik video scandal

IHC bars FIA from arresting Nasir Janjua in judge Arshad Malik video scandal

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday extended the pre-arrest bail of Nasir Janjua, the prime suspect in video scandal involving former accountability judge Arshad Malik, till July 31.

In addition to bail extension, the court also barred the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) from arresting Janjua.

Last week, Janjua had filed a pre-arrest bail petition in the IHC in the case pertaining to blackmailing judge Arshad. The court also granted Janjua protective bail till July 31.

To substantiate her claims at the press conference, Maryam had played a secretly recorded video that she claimed featured a conversation between Nasir Butt, a man she described as a loyal fan of her father, and judge Malik.

Maryam alleged that the judge had contacted Nasir and told him that he was feeling “guilty” and “having nightmares” after announcing the “unjust” verdict against Nawaz, so he invited Nasir for a meeting at his residence, where the video was recorded.

Maryam claimed that, in the video, judge Malik had pointed out the flaws in Nawaz’s corruption trial that he wanted to be conveyed to Nawaz’s lawyers. The judge acknowledged that he had been “blackmailed” and “pressured” into issuing a judgment against the PML-N supremo, Maryam claimed.

A day after the press conference, judge Malik rejected Maryam’s allegations saying that the former premier was convicted on the basis of evidence.

The judge, in a press release issued on July 7, said that he had seen the press conference as well as the video attributed to him.

“Serious allegations were made against me; it was a conspiracy to affect my credibility as well as that of my institution and my family. Therefore, I want to present the facts.

“I am a resident of Rawalpindi where before becoming a judge, I worked as a lawyer. The individual shown in the video, Nasir Butt, is also from the same city and is an old acquaintance. Nasir Butt and his brother Abdullah Butt have met me many times at numerous instances.

“The video shown in Maryam Safdar’s press conference is not only contrary to the facts but it is also a despicable attempt to mesh together various instances and topics spoken about, and to present them out of context.” Malik also demanded legal action against those behind the move.

The controversy continued to make news as Maryam released two more video clips “in support” of the first one.

On July 12, a petition requesting a thorough probe for determining the truth in the matter landed in the Supreme Court.

“In these circumstances and surrounding realities, it is most respectfully prayed that an inquiry may be ordered to be conducted so as to determine the truth,” argued the petition moved by Ishtiaq Ahmed Mirza through Advocate Chaudhry Munir Sadiq.

The same day, the Islamabad High Court decided to remove Arshad Malik from his post.

On July 12, judge Malik also gave in a letter to IHC acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq in which he said that the videos shared by Maryam were fake. He also filed an affidavit before the IHC chief justice along with his letter.