Court irked by delay in filing charge sheet in judge video case

Updated October 01, 2019

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A screengrab from a video shared by PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz shows judge Arshad Malik (R) in conversation with PML-N supporter Nasir Butt (L). — DawnNewsTV/File
A screengrab from a video shared by PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz shows judge Arshad Malik (R) in conversation with PML-N supporter Nasir Butt (L). — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: A cybercrimes court here on Monday expressed displeasure at the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for not submitting a final charge sheet in a case relating to the ‘‘immoral video’’ of former judge of the accountability court Mohammad Arshad Malik.

The court directed the agency to file the charge sheet by Oct 7.

Cybercrimes court judge Tahir Mehmood Khan had on Sept 23 directed the FIA to submit the charge sheet after the investigation agency in the interim charge sheet informed the court that the inquiry into the case had been transferred from the cybercrime wing to the counterterrorism wing.

The inquiry was transferred to the counterterrorism wing on the complaint of Judge Malik as the cybercrime wing released three suspects who allegedly blackmailed the judge for the acquittal of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference.

Judge Malik had convicted Mr Sharif in the Flagship reference and in a secretly recorded video confessed to handing down the sentence under duress. The judge in his affidavit accused Nasir Janjua, Mahar Ghulam Jilani and Khurram Yousaf of pressurising him for a favourable judgement because of his immoral video.

The FIA’s investigation team arrested the three men but later declared them innocent.

Subsequently, Judicial Magistrate Saqib Jawad ordered the release of the suspects from FIA custody.

Judge Malik filed a complaint against four FIA officials.

The cybercrimes court judge in his order asked the FIA director general to begin disciplinary proceedings against director Afzal Butt, assistant directors Farooq Latif and Kaleem­ullah Tarrar and sub-inspector Fazal Mehboob for negligence that led to the release of the three suspects.

He also criticised the judicial magistrate for releasing the suspects but made it clear that they would face trial.

During Monday’s proceedings, Judge Khan said that he would forward the court order to the interior secretary for taking action against the FIA officials for not complying with the directives to submit the charge sheet.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2019