July has so far been a busy month for news; in the last few days, we have witnessed stories concerning drugs, ambushes in the middle of the motorway and now leaked videos. PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz shocked airwaves when she, in a press conference, screened a video which showed a conversation between Nasir Butt, a man she described as a loyal fan of her father, and Accountability Judge Arshad Malik, who had in December last year sentenced Nawaz to seven years in jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference. Maryam alleged that the judge had contacted Nasir and told him that he was feeling “guilt” and “having nightmares” after announcing the “unjust” verdict against Nawaz, so he invited Nasir for a meeting at his residence, where the video was recorded.

The video has prompted many different reactions, ranging from anti-Maryam Nawaz sentiment from PTI supporters, to concern from civil activists over the issue of political motivation in accountability cases. Yet the most pressing question is what effect these new allegations from Maryam will have on the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case and whether the video will hold any evidentiary value in the High Court, where the appeal of the case is currently pending.

From the looks of it, the video has been secretly recorded and without the consent of those filmed. Arshad Malik, the judge accused, has already rejected Maryam Nawaz’s allegations -saying that the former premier was convicted on the basis of evidence. With these facts, it might be difficult for Maryam Nawaz to convincingly argue for the video to be accepted as evidence in front of the High Court. However, the argument could swing either way, since there is precedent for a judge’s audio tapes being used to overturn a decision, evidenced by Justice Qayyum’s case. If admitted by the Court, the video could completely change Nawaz Sharif’s fate, though the likelihood of the Court recognising is low, especially since the accused Judge denies it.

Perhaps it is precisely this reason, that she doesn’t trust the Court to accept the video, that Maryam showed it to the world in a presser, instead of in the High Court. Since she might have found it difficult to win the court of law, she decided to play to the court of public opinion. With the high publicity and the suspicion of doubt about the verdicts against Nawaz this video has elicited, for the time being, she is certainly leading everyone on a merry chase.