Sharif's son offered me Rs500m bribe to resign, claims Pak judge

Pakistan: High Court orders removal of judge who convicted Nawaz Sharif after video leak

The directives were issued by IHC Acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq in a letter to the registrar's office in which asked the latter to inform the Law Ministry that the judge has been relieved of his post and repatriated to his parent department, the Lahore High Court (LHC).

The leaked video opened a pandora's box as Maryam Nawaz is reported to have said that the Judge had been "blackmailed and pressurized" to convict her father.

The accountability court judge in Islamabad, Justice Arshad Malik, sentenced Sharif to seven years of imprisonment in Al-Azizia steel mills case on December 24 last year.

When Nawaz Sharif's trial in Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment was transferred to his court, he was approached multiple times by associates and supporters of the PML-N supremo, the judge said. He contended that the video recording, allegedly a conversation between Arshad Malik and Nasir Butt, has created an impression that the judiciary in this country is not working independently rather it is blackmailed and forced to act on the instructions of blackmailing person.

He said that it was only after he refused to accept the lucrative bribes and give in to threats, the PML-N VP held the controversial presser where she released the "manipulated" videotapes, wherein, she had claimed, the judge had confessed to giving the verdict under pressure. The minister said the conviction of Sharif can only be overturned by a high court.

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"The threat was delivered by Nasir Butt saying to me in an intimidating tone that he owed Nawaz Sharif a lot, as he (ex-premier) had helped him avoid punishment for 4-5 murders committed by him (Butt) by using his vast political influence and, therefore, he (Butt) was willing to go to any extent to help [Nawaz] in the trials he was facing", judge Malik claimed. He said: "The verdict was on merit".

The announcement came as the PML-N raised calls for the Al-Azizia sentence to be set aside and Nawaz Sharif's immediate release.

Another video showing Justice Malik purportedly dancing on the beats of an election campaign song of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party was also leaked.

A three-member bench, led by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, will hear the petition on July 16.

Mr Mirza, himself a lawyer and a social activist, in his petition moved before the apex court under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution pleaded that the apex court should issue necessary orders for securing independence, respect, prestige and integrity of the judiciary. She said that corruption allegations were made on Nawaz Sharif but no proves were shown, adding that everyone knows this is not accountability but victimization.

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