Judicial Magistrate Saqib Jawad had ordered removal of three accused persons' names from the case.

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The infamous case of former accountability judge Arshad Malik’s “immoral video” took another turn on Tuesday when reports surfaced on the media that civil judge Shaista Kundi had excused herself from hearing proceedings against three suspects, who had been detained by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), for interrogation in the same case.

Sources familiar with the matter revealed that the judge was approached for the acquittal of the three suspects from the concerned parties. However, judge Kundi reported the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and excused herself from the case.

Reportedly, she has also been issued an appreciation certificate for her code of conduct and discipline by Chief Justice Athar Minallah.

Earlier in September, a local court had acquitted the three suspects namely Nasir Janjua, Mahar Ghulam Jilani and Khurram Yousaf over lack of evidence in the FIA’s report. They had been sent on a five-day physical remand under the FIA custody for further investigation into the case.

Judicial Magistrate Saqib Jawad had ordered removal of three accused persons’ names from the case.

On September 2, the FIA had arrested Nasir Janjua, Mahar Ghulam Jilani and Khurram Yousaf from the Cyber Crime Court following the dismissal of their pre-arrest bail.

Yesterday, a cybercrimes court expressed displeasure at the FIA for not submitting a final charge sheet in the same case. Meanwhile, the court directed the agency to file the charge sheet by Oct 7.

Cybercrimes court judge Tahir Mehmood Khan had on Sept 23 directed the FIA to submit the charge sheet after the investigation agency in the interim charge sheet informed the court that the inquiry into the case had been transferred from the cybercrime wing to the counterterrorism wing.

The inquiry was transferred to the counterterrorism wing on the complaint of Judge Malik as the cybercrime wing released three suspects who allegedly blackmailed the judge for the acquittal of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference.

Judge Malik had convicted Sharif in the Flagship reference and in a secretly recorded video confessed to handing down the sentence under duress. The judge in his affidavit accused Nasir Janjua, Mahar Ghulam Jilani and Khurram Yousaf of pressurising him for a favourable judgement because of his immoral video.

Malik was removed from his position after the video was released and has been repatriated to the Lahore High Court where disciplinary proceedings against him will be held.