Arshad Malik poses for a photograph during an event in Islamabad. File
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
Former accountability judge Arshad Malik, who was embroiled in a controversial video relating to his conviction of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, passed away after contracting coronavirus on Friday.
The news of his demise was confirmed by Malik's brother-in-law, Waheed Javed, who said Malik's condition was critical for the past two days and he had been placed on a ventilator.
Javed said that the former judge was under treatment at the Shifa International Hospital in Islamabad. Malik is survived by two sons and two daughters.
In December 2018, Malik had convicted ex-premier Sharif in the Al Azizia reference, sentencing him to seven years in jail. However, he had acquitted Sharif in the Flagship reference.
In July 2020, after a year-long inquiry, the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) administration committee removed Malik from service on charges of misconduct relating to a video scandal that broke in 2019, and which sent ripples through political and legal circles.
The scandal was brought to the limelight by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, who had at the time come forward with video clips showing Malik's confession that he had been "pressured and blackmailed” to convict Sharif in the Al Azizia corruption reference.
A seven-member administration committee, headed by the then LHC chief justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan, in its meeting on Aug.26 last year had approved an inquiry against District and Sessions Judge Arshad Malik. Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem of the LHC had been tasked with the inquiry.
The PML-N had accused judge Malik of convicting Sharif in the Al Azizia reference under duress. However, the judge had acquitted the former premier of the charges in the Flagship Investments reference.
After Maryam had released alleged video/audio clips of judge Malik at a press conference in July, the IHC had summoned him and directed him to submit an affidavit explaining his position.
In his affidavit, the judge had denied the party’s claim, saying he had been blackmailed by PML-N supporters through an "immoral video.”
He also admitted to meeting with Sharif at Jati Umra residence and his son Hussain abroad. The controversy continued to make news as Maryam released two more video clips in support of the first one.
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