ISLAMABAD  -   A local court Friday granted FIA a three-day further physical custody of Tariq Mahmood, an accused allegedly involved in the video leak controversy surrounding accountability court judge Mohammad Arshad Malik. Civil judge Shaista Kundi remanded the accused into physical custody of FIA after the FIA officials presented him before the court after expiry of his two-day physical remand.

During the hearing, the FIA official informed the judge that the investigators had recovered a 4GB device from Mahmood and also submitted its forensic report before the court. At this point, the accused told the court that the device had not been recovered by the FIA but was voluntarily submitted by him.

The 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.

Tariq’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 his client’s residence in Multan.

The judge directed FIA to refrain from inflicting torture on the suspect and approved more physical remand.

Tariq was named in the affidavit submitted by Judge Arshad Malik in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). Judge Malik — who had in December last year sentenced Nawaz to seven-year in jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference and acquitted him in the Flagship Investment case — has been at the centre of controversy since July 6, when PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz alleged that he had been “blackmailed” into giving the verdict against Nawaz Sharif.

Mahmood has been accused by the judge 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.

Judge Arshad Malik in an affidavit submitted to the IHC had claimed that he was offered Rs500 million by the son of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif to resign on the pretext that he could “no longer deal with the guilt of having convicted the former premier under duress and without evidence”.