FIA secures 3-day physical remand of judge video scandal accused Mian Tariq

A civil judge in Islamabad on Friday granted three-day physical remand of Mian Tariq Mahmood — a central suspect in a case pertaining to a controversial video of accountability judge Arshad Malik — to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Mahmood was arrested from the capital by the FIA on Wednesday and had been in custody since a civil judge approved his two-day physical remand, which expired today.

The FIA, during today’s hearing, told the judge that the investigators had recovered a 4GB device from Mahmood and also submitted its forensic report. Mahmood, at this point, told the court that the device had not been recovered by the FIA but was voluntarily submitted by him.

FIA prosecutor also said that Mahmood had also pointed towards some other people who were allegedly involved in the scandal. The FIA counsel said that the investigation agency required an extension in Mahmood’s physical remand for further investigation.

Mahmood’s legal representative opposed the FIA’s demand for an extension and said that the investigation had been completed. He said that the FIA was still conducting raids at Mahmood’s residence in Multan.

The judge told FIA to refrain from inflicting torture on the suspect and granted the agency’s request.

Mahmood has been accused by Malik of showing him a “secretly recorded manipulated immoral video [showing him] in a compromising position” which was later used by Nawaz Sharif’s long-time supporter Nasir Butt to blackmail the judge into saying that he had been “pressured” to issue the Al Azizia verdict against the former premier.

The matter of the video surfaced earlier this month after PML-M vice-president Maryam Nawaz released a secretly filmed clip that showed judge Malik telling a man — identified by her as Butt — that he had been “blackmailed” and “pressured” to issue a verdict against Nawaz that landed the former prime minister in jail.

In a rebuttal, Malik said that Butt had forced him to make the afore-mentioned claims by using the Multan video as a threat.

A case pertaining to the video will also be heard in the Supreme Court by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on July 23. The top court has issued notices to the attorney general as well as petitioners.

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