Pakistan: Court Dismisses Judge Who Convicted Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif

APakistani court dismissed a former accountability court judge over a controversial video scandal in which he purportedly confessed to have sentenced deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif to seven years in a corruption case under pressure, Daily Times reported. The Lahore High Court’s seven-member administrative body headed by Chief Justice Qasim Khan announced the decision to dismiss Islamabad accountability court judge Arshad Malik. Malik had convicted Sharif in December 2018 in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case and also fined him $25 million.

In July 2019, Sharif’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, released a purported video of Malik in which he confessed that he had been “blackmailed and pressured” to convict the PML-N supreme leader. He indirectly referred to the intelligence agencies that put pressure on him.

The judge had denied the allegations, saying there was no pressure on him to convict Sharif and that the videos shown by Maryam of his alleged confession at a press conference were “fake and based on lies”.

Shehbaz Sharif, President of Pakistani Muslim League – a centre-right conservative party founded by Sharif,  said that dismissal of former Islamabad accountability court judge Malik “proved the innocence” of Sharif. Shahbaz said justice merits that Sharif should be exonerated and all sentences against him be annulled.

Sharif, 70, was given bail in the Al-Azizia Mills corruption case, in which he was serving a seven-year prison sentence in Kot Lakhpat Jail. He was also given bail in a money-laundering case to facilitate his travel abroad. Sharif is currently in London for his treatment after the court granted him bail on medical grounds.