Pakistan

UK court rejects PM Shehbaz’s plea for indefinite adjournment in Daily Mail case


The London High Court of Justice has rejected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s plea for an indefinite adjournment in the defamation case against British newspaper Daily Mail.

According to a copy of court order shared by Daily Mail reporter David Rose, Justice Nicklin conducted the hearing on the case on November 9, 2022.

The PM’s counsels reportedly sought more time for their client to submit response in the case, saying that the prime minister of Pakistan was fully occupied with legal duties.

"The prime minister and common man are equal in this court,” media reports quoted the UK judge as saying in response to the PM’s request.

If PM Shehbaz amended reply is deemed not to comply with the requirements set down by law next month, his action will be “struck out”, according to journalist Rose.

Page two: pic.twitter.com/BkZB5zuOpC
— David Rose (@DavidRoseUK) November 11, 2022

“If that happened, he would have to pay all our [legal] costs since he brought the case. The same would be true if he and Ali Imran withdrew,” he added.

If @cmshebaz's amended reply is deemed not to comply with the requirements set down by law next month, his action will be struck out. See para 4. If that happened, he would have to pay all our costs since he brought the case. The same would be true if he and Ali Imran withdrew.
— David Rose (@DavidRoseUK) November 11, 2022

In a statement, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the British newspaper delayed the defamation case for one and a half years on different pretexts.

“We have won this case to the extent of stating our position,” she claimed.

The information minister said the next hearing of the case has been fixed for December 13 in which she said a detailed response to the allegations will be submitted to the court.

PM Shahbaz’s brief response in the case has already been submitted while the Daily Mail has not been able to prove its allegations in the court yet, she claimed.

“Now it [Daily Mail] will have to face the law.”

Also read: Shehbaz moves London court against Daily Mail for 'fabricated', ‘defamatory’ story

In 2020, Shehbaz had filed a case in the London High Court against the British daily and its reporter David Rose for publishing a "fabricated and defamatory" report against him in July 2019.

"It was a fabricated and defamatory story which published in the Daily Mail. It was a part of propaganda launched by [Prime Minister] Imran Niazi against the PML-N in the name of sham accountability," he had said while addressing a news conference in London in January, 2020.

The story ad appeared On July 14, 2019 in the British newspaper accusing former Punjab chief minister and his family of embezzling millions of pounds out of £500 million aid lent by the Department for International Development (DFID) for 2005 earthquake victims.

As soon as the report surfaced, the PML-N had termed it a conspiracy against Shehbaz hatched by the PTI government.


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