Suspect in judge video scandal missing, police register FIR

Updated October 03, 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

A case was registered on Wednesday after a suspect in the investigation into a video leak scandal involving former accountability court judge Arshad Malik went missing along with his family.

According to the FIR registered at the Lohi Bher police station in Islamabad on the complaint of Khurram Yousuf's brother-in-law under Section 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine a person) of the Pakistan Penal Code, Yousuf, along with his wife and three children, were missing for a week. He said that their house was locked and phones had been powered off.

The complainant alleged that Nasir Janjua, another suspect in the video scandal, was responsible for this, adding that his brother-in-law had been very worried about the case and had been in touch with Janjua. He called for their recovery.

On September 7, a judicial magistrate had set free three suspects including Janjua, Yousuf and Mahar Ghulam Jilani from the Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) custody after a report from the agency showed that no evidence was found against them in connection with an investigation into the video leak scandal.

Earlier in the same week, the three men had been picked up in connection with judge Malik's FIR against them for allegedly pressurising and blackmailing him.

Following their release, a cybercrimes court had ruled that the order for their discharge from the case "does not amount to acquittal".

Judge video controversy

Judge Malik — who had in December last year sentenced Nawaz Sharif to seven years in jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference and acquitted him in the Flagship Investment case — has been at the centre of controversy since July 6, when PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz alleged that he had been "blackmailed" into giving the verdict against Sharif.

According to judge Malik's affidavit — presented to the Islamabad High Court chief justice as a rebuttal to Maryam's press conference — an old acquaintance of his, Tariq Mahmood, had been the one to show him a "secretly recorded manipulated immoral video [showing him] in a compromising position" that was shot while the judge was serving in Multan.

The judge claimed that this video was later used by Sharif's long-time supporter Nasir Butt to blackmail him.