Accountability judge ‘blackmailed’ to issue anti-Nawaz verdict: Maryam Sharif

Accountability judge ‘blackmailed’ to issue anti-Nawaz verdict: Maryam Sharif
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Maryam Nawaz Sharif, senior PML-N leader, addressing a press conference held in Lahore on Saturday July 06, 2019. (Photo courtesy: PML-N twitter account)
Accountability judge ‘blackmailed’ to issue anti-Nawaz verdict: Maryam Sharif
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In this July 5, 2017 file photo, Maryam Nawaz (center), the daughter of Nawaz Sharif waves while she arrives to talk with media following appearing before a Joint Investigation Team, in Islamabad. (AP)
Updated 06 July 2019

Accountability judge ‘blackmailed’ to issue anti-Nawaz verdict: Maryam Sharif

Accountability judge ‘blackmailed’ to issue anti-Nawaz verdict: Maryam Sharif
  • Daughter of jailed former PM holds press conference, shows video of judge who sentenced Nawaz Sharif
  • Government spokesperson says Maryam had maligned the institution of the judiciary

ISLAMABAD: Maryam Nawaz, senior PML-N leader and the daughter of jailed, three time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, said on Saturday her father was wrongfully convicted in a corruption reference because the judge presiding over his case was “blackmailed” into issuing a verdict against him.
Sharif is currently serving a seven-year sentence imposed last year for failing to disclose the source of income that allowed him to acquire the Al-Azizia Steel Mills in Saudi Arabia.
At a press conference flanked by other senior leaders of the PMLN, Maryam revealed that PMLN leader Nasir Butt was invited by the accountability judge, Arshad Malik, who confessed during their meeting that he was forced to issue an “unjust” verdict against the country’s disqualified prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, by people who blackmailed him with a “personal video.”
Describing the clip as “divine help” for her family, Maryam said that the judge had highlighted several flaws in his judgment that he wanted Nasir Butt to convey to Sharif’s lawyers, which would help him be acquitted in appeal hearings.
Sharif has always termed the charges against him politically motivated and accused the military and courts of working together to end his political career and destabilize his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party. Both deny the charge.
The PML-N lost to the party of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, the new prime minister, in July 2018 polls. Sharif accused the military of backing Khan. Khan and the military deny the accusation.
Maryam’s press conference was soon followed by a media talk by the country’s de facto information minister, Firdous Ashiq Awan, who condemned the allegations against the accountability judge and claimed that the PML-N had maligned the judiciary.
Awan said that a forensic audit of the tape would be conducted soon, adding it was important to see if the content of the video was “real or tampered.”