Monday, December 4, 2023

Shahbaz Sharif wins the first round of defamation suit against the Daily Mail

London’s Supreme Court ruled on Friday to support PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and son-in-law Ali Imran Yousaf on the importance of reporter David Rose’s article on July 14, 2019 accusing Shahbaz and his son Hukum of being involved in money laundering and embezzling British money for poor people in Pakistan.

Judge Sir Matthew Niklin ruled that the article in the Sunday’s Mail contained the highest levels of slander for Shahbaz Sharif and Ali Imran Yusaf.

The Daily Mail denied that the words used in the article were not defamatory, but the judge ruled that the level of defamation against Shahbaz Sharif Chase was Level 1 – the highest form of defamation in English law – on all points Sharif raised. . Your arguments and slander lawyer against Ali Imran Yussaf is Level 1 Pursuit in one case and Pursuit Level 2 in another.

Normally the judge thinks that the newspaper finds both of them guilty of corruption (Level 1 – The idea in the article is that he is guilty. Highest degree of defamation; Level 2 – He can be guilty and has reasonable reasons; Level 3 – He could be guilty and this requires investigation.

The court heard arguments from lawyers from all over in David Rose’s article, “Will Pakistani Politicians’ Families Become Boys for the UK-STEAL Foreign Aid Fund for Earthquake Victims,” ​​asked David Rose, who made headlines in Pakistan for two years. .

Associated Newspapers Limited (publisher of Mail am Sonntag and Daily Mail) questioned the meaning of defamation to reduce it.

Sir Matthew said the article actually found Mr Sharif guilty of the following words: “Mr Sharif is a party and the main beneficiary of tens of millions of dollars, the result of his embezzlement when he was prime minister of Punjab province, was the amount of British public money paid. to the provinces through Department of International Development (DFID) grants and other corrupt payments in the form of setbacks or commissions from government projects. “”

The decision about Sir Nicklin’s importance had to be defended by the newspapers when his case went to trial.

Carter Ruck made a brief statement on behalf of Shahbaz Sharif shortly after the verdict. He quoted Shahbaz Sharif as saying, “Mr Sharif said this was the first step in clearing my name of the false statements in the Sunday Mail that should never have been published.”

Attorney Andrew Caldecott, CC, told the judge that the Daily Mail “admitted” that there were no money laundering charges against Shahbaz, but of his family members. The Daily Mail attorney said, “The actual detailed evidence against Shahbaz Sharif is somewhat limited by speculation but is based on his mansion.”

Judge Niklin dismissed the Daily Mail attorney’s argument, ruling that ordinary readers in the UK would understand the importance of discovering that Shahbaz Sharif was involved in corruption, embezzlement of earthquake rehabilitation funds (ERRA) and DFID funds, and money laundering. He said the plaintiff was found guilty in the natural and simple text of Chase Level 1.

Judge Matthew Nicklin stated at the start of the trial that he had read material provided to him by the Daily Mail and lawyer Shahbaz Sharif. However, Judge Niklin said he was aware that there was a Shahbaz Sharif trial in Pakistan, but “deliberately didn’t read anything about the trial in Pakistan because I didn’t need to read or know about it”. I would rather not know what is going on in Pakistan. “

Lawyers for The Mail quoted Shahzad Akbar, an adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan, as saying that a money laundering investigation had started in Pakistan, that large sums of money had been found and that DFID funds had been misused. The lawyer also read excerpts from articles on “Boys in cash”, “Poppadom men”.

He said: “Investigations in Pakistan are still ongoing to find the source of these funds. This investigation is far from over and the daily papers contain very limited information. Once the rates of money laundering have been established, the investigation will resume. Phase ends.”

Adrienne Pack KK, who appeared for Shahbaz Sharif, told the judge that the Daily Mail article described the relationship between Shahbaz Sharif and the British government and later alleged that the former Prime Minister of Punjab was involved in corrupting British taxpayer money. He watched the court throughout the article and said the article was defamatory from start to finish – no evidence, but a grounded allegation of fraud and money laundering.

“The Daily Mail article was intervened by former Punjab Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on suspicion of stealing taxpayer money from Britain in favor of British aid to his country. Claims that his government was involved in stealing British money are grave claims.” “

Adrienne Pack KK told the court that a Daily Mail article found Shahbaz Sharif “guilty of corruption” and “a beneficiary of British money laundering”. The money laundering allegations are presented as fact in the article. Whose money was stolen? Money laundering is criminal behavior, but who are the victims and where is the evidence? Where was the stolen money? Where is the evidence? Where is the evidence of decline and embezzlement? “”

He said Shahbaz Sharif’s son had denied the allegations of money laundering and corruption, but the newspaper used statements from Shahzad Akbar and Transparency International to defame their clients.

“Headlines, captions, stacks of articles, Sunday mail campaign against foreign funds, end of articles. Everything is defamatory. This is the essence of all the benefits of this money laundering plaintiff.” he said in court.

Attorney Victoria Simon-Shore has appeared for Shahbaz’s son-in-law, Sharif Imran Ali Yusaf. He told the court that his client had denied all charges of corruption, embezzlement and money laundering. He said the allegation in the article that Imran Ali Yussaf “mysteriously collected money” because his daughter-in-law was in power was far from the truth.

Judge Nicklin acknowledged that the article highlighted the link to British support in all matters and it would be very difficult for readers to conclude how much British money had been misappropriated.

David Rose tweeted after the ruling was published in Pakistani media: “The defamation case of Shahbaz Sharif is very up-front. The decision sets the parameters for a possible future trial: it determines what court members think. This is NOT the end result.” “

Shahzad Akbar tweeted: “Today’s London trial is a ‘meaningful hearing’ where the judge has to decide what the article means. Shahbaz and Ali Imran DO NOT win the Daily Mail case. The judge made a similar statement when he refused to allocate fees for both parties. “”

Ali Raza, from Lahore added: PML-N secretary Marium Aurangzeb commented on the developments, saying the British court’s decision was a slap in the face of Imran Khan, who exposed his witch’s brutal hunt for PML-N leadership.

In a statement, he said the court had not only removed the rogue government propaganda forced through the Daily Mail, but also completely removed the false story against Shahbaz Sharif and acquitted him.

He asked the government to stop feeling ashamed and release Shahbaz Sharif from the kidnapping of the so-called NAB-Niazi alliance.

He said if the rulers were left with an ounce of integrity, they would have to withdraw all their fictitious, groundless cases motivated by political victimization, revenge and prejudice against the PML-N president.

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