RAWALPINDI: In a significant development, a local court of Rawalpindi on Tuesday initiated the process to declare the senior vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) UK chapter, Nasir Butt, a proclaimed offender and issued his perpetual warrants for arrest in a two-and-a-half-decade-old triple murder case.

Mr Butt is the main character in the judge video case that is related to the confession of former judge of the accountability court Arshad Malik that he convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif under duress.

Additional district and sessions judge Shahid Zameer on the complaint of Rawalpindi District Bar Association former president Israrul Haq Malik issued the warrants and started proceedings to declare Mr Butt a proclaimed offender.

Nasir Butt is main character in judge video case

In his complaint, Mr Malik stated that on Oct 15, 1996, Mr Butt murdered his brothers Ikramul Haq and Noorul Haq and their employee Gulfraz Abbasi near Chandni Chowk of Rawalpindi.

He said that the accused escaped from the crime scene and later on absconded abroad.

The complainant requested the court to proceed against Mr Butt.

It may be mentioned that the complainant moved the application after about two and a half decades against Mr Butt at a time when the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has recently released the principal accused in the judge video case on bail.

The IHC released Tariq Mehmood who filmed the former accountability judge in 2002.

The IHC division bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and senior puisne judge Justice Aamer Farooq also questioned 19-year silence of the judge after he was filmed and blackmailed by Mr Mehmood.

Mr Butt is an accused in the judge video case as he filmed the former accountability court’s judge while meeting him at the latter’s residence where they discussed merits of the Sharif’s case.

Judge Arshad Malik has convicted Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Aziza reference and awarded him eight-year imprisonment.

Following the conviction, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership during a press conference released a video in which former judge Malik confessed to have convicted Mr Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference under duress because of his alleged immoral video.

The judge rebutted these allegations, through an affidavit. In the affidavit, former judge Malik accused Nasir Butt of threatening him regarding revelation of the video.

The video released by the PML-N showed that Nasir Butt was sitting with the judge at the latter’s residence and both were discussing the Al-Azizia reference.

Initially, the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cyber crimes circle investigated the case and arrested three accused persons namely Nasir Janjua, Khurram Yousaf and Mahar Ghulam Jilani. The FIA absolved them after a preliminary probe.

However, on the complaint of former judge Malik, the FIA transferred the investigation to the Counter Terrorism Wing (CTW).

The CTW arrested Faisal Shaheen who filmed the meeting between former judge Malik and Mr Butt.

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2020

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