Pakistan arrests prime suspect in video leak scandal
Video that surfaced earlier this month showed judge confessing ‘there was no evidence’ of corruption against 3-time premier
Authorities on Wednesday arrested the suspected mastermind of an indecent videotape of a judge accused of convicting the jailed former premier Nawaz Sharif in a corruption case "under pressure".
Judge Arshad Malik, who was removed from his office last week following criticism from legal and political circles, could be seen in a purported video confessing that “there was no evidence” of corruption against the three-time prime minister.
Mian Tariq, the alleged video-maker, according to Federal Investigation Authority (FIA), was arrested when he was trying to fly to Dubai from Islamabad airport.
According to authorities, Tariq had recorded a "personal" video of the judge a few years ago, on the basis of which the latter was allegedly blackmailed to convict Sharif.
He was presented before a district court in Islamabad that remanded him into FIA’s custody for two days, local broadcaster Geo News reported.
The judge was thrust into the spotlight when Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Nawaz Sharif, earlier this month screened the purported video of the judge during a news conference.
In the alleged video of Judge Arshad Malik, “[he] says that some individuals called him for a cup of tea during the hearing of a case against Nawaz Sharif and showed him his old personal video and then put their demand on how to deal with Sharif," Maryam told the news conference.
The judge, however, refuted Maryam's claims, and himself accused the Sharif family of threatening and offering him bribe in exchange for acquitting the former premier.
The video scandal not only ignited criticism from the political and legal fraternity questioning the country's judicial system, but also compelled the Supreme Court to intervene admitting that the scandal has damaged the judiciary's reputation.
The top court on Tuesday sought suggestions from the government and the lawyers to investigate the scandal.
On Dec. 24, the accountability court judge Malik sentenced Sharif to seven years in jail after 15-month legal process in the corruption cases, popularly known as Al Azizia Steel Mills. Sharif is currently serving prison term in the Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.