Friday June 14, 2024

Multan video scandal: What did Judge Arshad Malik tell FIA team?

"I met Hussain Nawaz Sharif at Oberoi Hotel, Madina Munawwara," confirmed Judge Arshad Malik in his written response submitted with investigation team of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

By Zahid Gishkori
August 21, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Judge Arshad Malik has officially admitted that he met Hussain Nawaz Sharif in Saudi Arabia in first week of June this year.

"I met Hussain Nawaz Sharif at Oberoi Hotel, Madina Munawwara," confirmed Judge Arshad Malik in his written response submitted with investigation team of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The said judge responded to a tough questionnaire consisting of 60 questions dispatched by the FIA team as well. When FIA asked Judge Malik that how many times he visited the residence of ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif at Jati Umra Lahore, he responded, "Once. According tomy recollection, the departure for Jati-Umra was around 1000 hours and the departure from Jati-Umra was 1800 hours on the same day." When asked who were accompanied with you while going to Lahore, the said judge responded, “Nasir Mehmood Butt."

In his affidavit exclusively made available with this correspondent, the said judge said, “Shortly after my appointment in February, 2018 as Judge, Accountability Court No. II, Islamabad, I was contacted by two acquaintances, Maher Jilani and Nasir Janjua with whom I met. During this meeting, Nasir Janjua claimed that it was on his specific and personal recommendation to an influential person in the then PML-N government that I was appointed the Judge, Accountability Court No. II, Islamabad. To further reinforce this claim, Nasir Janjua pointing to another individual who had accompanied him rhetorically asked did I not tell you some weeks ago that Muhammad Arshad Malik was being appointed Judge Accountability Court. In any event, I did not think much of this claim at that time but responded to Nasir Janjua that you should have at least asked for my view before proposing my name and I was not keen to this position as I was aspiring for my posting as Sessions Judge in District."

Further in his affidavit, Judge Arshad Malik said, "that in August 2018, Reference No. 18 of 2017 (Flagship Reference) and Reference No. 19 of 2017 (the HME Reference) were transferred for trial to my court (i.e. Accountability Court No. II). whilst the trial of the HME Reference and Flagship Reference was underway, I was approached on a number of occasions by associates and supporters of Mian Nawaz Sharif with demands, inducements and threats to acquit Mian Nawaz Sharif and the other accused in the HME and Flagship References."

The affidavit further reads, "At around the time that the trials of the Flagship Reference and HME Reference were on the arguments stage, I was again approached by Nasir Janjua and Maher Jilani. This time Nasir Janjua came with a financial offer quoting Mian Nawaz Sharif. I was told that Mian Sahib is willing to pay whatever I demand as long as there is an acquittal verdict in both the HME and Flagship references. He said that I can be paid through any nominee in any country of my choice. When I responded by saying that I have contently spent 56 years of my life in a 6 marla house and will decide the two references in accordance with my oath and did not need anything, Nasir Janjua claimed that he had the cash equivalent of Rs100 million in Euros for me immediately available out of which the Euro equivalent of Rs20 million was in his car parked outside. He tried to tempt and induce me further by saying that I was a salaried person of modest means with a family and many liabilities and that this was a golden opportunity to make myself financially secure for the future. However, I declined the bribe offered to me while committing remains sticking to merits."

About the alleged bribe offer, the said judge further revealed that "the offer for a bribe which I declined was then followed, shortly thereafter, by a thinly veiled threat of physical harm and intimidation by Nasir Butt, who I have also mentioned in my Press Release of 07-07-2019. The threat was delivered by Nasir Butt saying to me in any intimidating tone that he owed Main Nawaz Sharif a lot, as he had helped him avoid punishment for 4-5 murders committed by him by using his immense political influence and, therefore, he was willing to go to any extent to help Mian Sahib in the trials he was facing."

Judge Arshad Malik continued to reveal that "in middle of February, 2019 I met with Khurram Yousaf and Nasir Butt. During conversation, Nasir Butt asked me whether Nasir Janjua had shown me the Multan video. I did not make an immediate connection with this statement and said I did not know what he was talking about. Nasir Butt then said, in a sinister manner, that you will be shown the video in a few days -- this came as a shock to me. After I was shown the video, Nasir Janjua and Nasir Butt started to pressurise and blackmail me to do something to help Mian Nawaz Sharif. Nasir Janjua suggested to me that since the conviction in the HME reference had already been handed down, for the satisfaction of Mian Nawaz Sharif only I should record an audio message for him in which I should state that I had convicted him in the HME reference under immense pressure, from influential quarters, even though there was no evidence to prove the offence with which he was charged. Nasir Janjua further enticed me by assuring that the audio message would only be for the consumption and satisfaction of Mian Nawaz Sharif and that he would personally ensure that the audio recording is deleted after it was heard by Mian Nawaz Sharif. I denied but he insisted for repeating the sentences -- I did accompany Nasir Butt to Jati Umra probably on 06-04-2019, where Mian Nawaz Sharif personally received us. At this meeting, Nasir Butt initiated the conversation by claiming in front of Mian Nawaz Sharif that I had admitted to Nasir Butt that the conviction was handed down under pressure of the judiciary and the army. However, when I spoke up, I politely tried to explain to Mian Nawaz Sharif that the conviction in the HME reference was on merits and that there was substantial evidence adduced against him by the prosecution which had gone unrebutted in defence, whereas, in the Flagship reference he was acquitted because of the absence of the required level of evidence. Mian Nawaz Sharif was obviously displeased by my response and so the meeting ended with Mian Nawaz Sharif seeing us both off."

Finally in his affidavit submitted earlier this month with FIA team, Judge Arshad Malik said, "That I proceeded to Saudi Arabia on 28-5-2019 with my family to perform Umra. After Isha prayers on 01-06-2019 Nasir Butt met me outside Masjid-e-Nabvi and asked me to accompany him to meet Hussain Nawaz Sharif. When I resisted this meeting, I was again threatened with problems and embarrassment for me in Pakistan being at his one click commanded by a phone call. Hussain Nawaz Sharif's tone and manner was palpably aggressive and intimidating. He offered me a cash bribe of Rs500 million in addition to myself and my entire family being relocated and settled in the United Kingdom, Canada or any other country of my choice with jobs for my children and a profitable business. In return, he said that all I had to do was to formally resign on the ground that I could no longer deal with the guilt of having convicted Mian Nawaz Sharif under duress and without evidence.

He said that after signing such a resignation letter, he would take care of everything and that he was the only one who could protect me, again alluding to the same blackmailing. He pressed me for an immediate answer. I declined this offer by Hussain Nawaz Sharif. I returned to Pakistan on 08-06-2019 after which Nasir Butt made repeated telephone calls to me urging me to reconsider the offer made by Hussain Nawaz Sharif in Medina Pak whilst as the same time treating me with consequences."