–PML-N VP terms cases against former PM conspiracy, claims verdict was decided even before the trial
–Demands cases against Nawaz be quashed in the light of alleged video of NAB judge Arshad Malik
–Calls PM ‘selected’, says he is ‘selected’ so why shouldn’t we call him that
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Saturday said the accountability judge hearing her father Nawaz Sharif’s trial was coerced to give judgement against the former prime minister, presenting an alleged video of the judge as evidence.
The PML-N VP was addressing a press conference in Lahore, flanked by President Shehbaz Sharif and senior leadership of the party who had called the presser to “present some solid and irrefutable proof in favour of Nawaz Sharif”.
Quoting from the video clip which was allegedly recorded by PML-N worker Nasir Butt, she said there was no “evidence” available against her father.
According to the video, Judge Arshad Malik –who heard Al-Azizia and Flagship cases— had pointed out the apparent flaws in Nawaz’s corruption trial and conceded that he had been “blackmailed” and “pressured” into issuing a judgement against the PML-N supreme leader, Maryam claimed.
Addressing the presser, she said it was “embarrassing” that a three-time PM was languishing in jail on charges of corruption and money laundering.
It was said that they did not submit any evidence in the case, she said of Nawaz’s defence team. “We gave receipts and evidence but it wasn’t accepted,” she clarified.
Expressing reservations on the trial, she said everyone knew this was a conspiracy instead of accountability. She said the cases against Nawaz were decided even before the trial.
Speaking further about the judge, she said the judge also [allegedly] claimed that Nawaz being treated unfairly. “He didn’t give the verdict rather it was handed over to him,” she said.
Maryam then proceeded to show an alleged clip of Judge Arshad Malik talking to a person at his residence.
“In the video, the judge can be heard explaining that in order to make any instrument work it is necessary to tighten its screws. You can make any sound come out of the instrument as per your will,” Maryam quoted the judge as saying in the video.
She then showed another clip in which Judge Malik allegedly claimed that Nawaz did not commit any corruption.
The PML-N VP claimed that the judge didn’t find “allegations of financial corruption, illegal gratification, commissions or kickbacks were received by the accused [Nawaz Sharif] or were paid by any person or department” to be true.
Nasir Butt, the man who recorded the video, is an acquaintance of the judge, she said.
Maryam, quoting from the video said, the judge was blackmailed by certain people over a “video”.
“The judge even said that there was no evidence that a single penny has been shifted from Pakistan or that Hussain (Nawaz) embezzled money in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, she said. All three cases were from one pipeline but were treated differently,” added Maryam, implicating that the judge was blackmailed to give an unfair verdict.
“In one case made on the basis of the Supreme Court’s decision, the court acquitted the accused. In the second case he was convicted on the same allegations but awarded seven years imprisonment, in the third case court he was awarded a 10-year sentence,” she quoted the judge as saying.
“I have shown you the unadulterated and unedited video of the conversation between Nasir and the judge,” she said.
She also alluded to the case of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was hanged by the military dictator Ziaul Haq on trumped-up charges.
“Bhutto’s sentence was termed as a “judicial murder”, said Maryam. A judge confessed that he was under pressure but thank God the judge hearing Nawaz’s case realised his mistake sooner, she said.
She said she would do anything for her father and won’t let him be treated like late Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, who died in a courtroom.
“I don’t care if I have to suffer personally. But I am willing to do anything for Nawaz saab. I am fighting for the rights of all prime ministers who were made the target of any sort of conspiracy,” she said.
“You can’t manipulate and blackmail judges and force them to commit suicide,” she warned. “This is what happens behind closed doors,” she added.
I can present more proof if you want, she said, adding that she is not at war with any institution. The cases against Nawaz should be termed null and void, and he should be acquitted, she said.
“After today, I know that my life is also in danger since no one has ever said truth in the country before.”
She also took a jibe at Prime Minister Imran Khan over the term ‘selected prime minister’. “You are selected so why shouldn’t we call you that?” she quipped.
She said the powers-that-be forced electoral candidates to change their loyalties because ‘they’ knew that Nawaz had the support of the people. “It was the worst type of electoral rigging,” she said, adding that all the people with her are being picked on now.