ISLAMABAD - Main accused in the judge’s video leak sandal in a confessional statement before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has said that he sold out the immoral video of former accountability court judge Arshad Malik to a political leader of PML-N for Rs 20 million.

According to the interim challan report of the video case submitted by the FIA before Islamabad’s Prevention of Electronic Crimes Judge Tahir Mahmood Khan, the main accused Tariq Mehmood confessed said that he sold the video after getting a cheque of Rs 13.1 million along with a Toyota land cruiser vehicle to Mian Saleem Raza, a Lahore-based leader of PML-N.

The interim report prepared by FIA’s Counter Terrorism Wing quoting the statement of Mehmood says that in January 2019, he along with his two sons met with Raza in Lahore. Raza sought that immoral sexual video from him. Mehmood, a Multan-based businessman of LED (light-emitting diodes) TVs demanded Rs 20 million from PML-N leader to which he agreed, says the report.

FIA in its investigations and after forensic analysis of a camera found the immoral video original, according to the report, a copy of which is seen by The Nation.

FIA challan report claims Rs13.1m, vehicle given to accused by a PML-N leader

On July 15, Judge Arshad Malik had filed a complaint with the FIA Cyber Crime Wing in Islamabad against Mian Tariq and others for illegally recording his videos and images with the intent of blackmailing, criminal intimidation and subversion the course of justice. Judge Malik has convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference.

On 29 January 2019, Mehmood handed over the video to Raza after getting a cheque of worth 13.1 million along with the land cruiser. He told FIA that he had parked that white colour land cruiser in a parking area of Nishtar Medical College & Hospital, Multan, and the said cheque is also lying in the dashboard of the vehicle.

He while in the custody of FIA also confessed that he had made the immoral video of Judge Arshad Malik in 2003 while he was additional district and sessions judge Multan. The video was recorded in the office of Mehmood through already installed cameras there and he did this for the purpose of blackmailing the judge and getting benefits from him in future, says the report. He kept that video through USB drive till 2019 when he sold this to a PML-N leader.

FIA taken into custody different electronic and digital equipment during raids at the residences of the accused in Multan and these digital equipment were sent to forensic lab of the agency’s Cyber Crime Wing (CCW) Islamabad for forensic analysis. “As per facts and findings, the forensic report revealed that during the examination of Panasonic Camera Cassette S No 2, the immoral video (original video) has been found,” the report says.

The interim report says that the land cruiser was recovered on 18th July 2019 on the disclosure of accused Mehmood from Nishtar Medical Hospital’s parking area. The recovered vehicle was sent to Forensic Science Laboratory, Capital Territory Police Islamabad, for technical examination of its chassis and engine number. The laboratory in its report said that the vehicle was found to be tempered. “The chemical treatment of the chassis number of Toyota Land Cruiser has revealed that a separate piece of iron was found fixed at the chassis place with welding after removing the said piece original chassis number…was deciphered underneath.”

FIA in the report said that efforts were made to arrest accused Mian Saleem Raza and Nasir Mehmood Butt, another accused but they deliberately avoided the arrest and their travel history revealed that they absconded abroad to “avoid the due process of law.”

FIA said that during the investigations conducted so far, the accused Mehmood, mentioned in column 3 of the interim challan, had been “found guilt and involved in blackmailing, defaming, transmitting and harming the modesty of the complainant judge Arshad Malik by recording immoral video and further distributing to co-accused persons Raza and others.”

In July this year, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz during a press conference had alleged that an immoral video was used to pressurize and blackmail judge Malik to convict former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference. He had also made public another video of the judge saying that he was under duress to convict form PM—an allegation to which the judge later denied.

The Cyber Crime Wing had registered a case against the accused, however the investigation of the scandal was slater transferred to the Counter Terrorism Wing on an application of complainant, Judge Malik.