Published: Sun, July 14, 2019

PM Khan says Pakistani mafia pressurize judiciary like Sicilian mafia

PM Khan says Pakistani mafia pressurize judiciary like Sicilian mafia

Accountability judge Arshad Malik who in December handed Sharif a seven-year jail term was relieved of his duties, Law Minister Farogh Naseem announced on Friday.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said the Pakistani mafia uses tricks such as blackmail and threats to pressurise the judiciary and other institutions just like the Sicilian mafia. During a recent press meet, Maryam had claimed that the judge was blackmailed into issuing a verdict against her father.

On Malik's claims that he was threatened and offered bribes, the law minister said there would be legal action against anyone who tried to intimidate or blackmail judges.

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. The accountability judge had also been summoned around three times for questioning.

In a post on Twitter, PM Khan said: "In a similar vein to the "Sicilian mafia", the Pakistani mafia uses tactics of bribe, threat, blackmail and begging to pressurise state institutions and judiciary in order to protect their billions of money laundering stashed overseas". In yet another post Maryam asked: "A judge was found guilty of misconduct and was removed from his post; how can the subject of his misconduct be punished?"

Soon after the video surfaced, top PML-N leadership demanded release of Sharif from the Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore, while the Imran Khan-led government distanced itself from the controversy, saying that the matter pertained to judiciary and it should deal with it. Apart from the money, the judge said that he was offered settlement overseas along with family if he resigned on the grounds that he could no longer deal with the guilt of convicting Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference without evidence.

In a second tweet in Urdu, she alleged that the prime minister was "part of the heinous conspiracy that was staged to punish Nawaz Sharif and keep him out of the field". "The law ministry has stopped Arshad Malik from working as a judge for now".

"The sentence (of Sharif) can not be immediately be suspended, extended or changed in any way until the IHC takes a decision regarding whether the judgement was issued under pressure", Nasim said.

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