LONDON: Famous defamation and reputation management law firm Carter Ruck has revealed that Daily Mail had stopped defending several months ago the defamatory and false allegations of corruption published in a report by David Rose against Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
In a statement published on its website, Carter Ruck revealed that it had become clear to Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) that it has no defence to support its allegations of corruption against Shahbaz Sharif in the Department For International Development (DFID). The paper had accused Shahbaz Sharif and his son of benefiting from the DFID aid grant for Pakistan in 2005.
Carter Ruck said: “After the Mail/MailOnline refused to withdraw or apologise for the articles, Prime Minister Sharif issued legal proceedings in January 2020. In its defence, served in February 2022, the Mail finally conceded that it did not seek to defend the allegations it had published with regard to alleged misuse of British public money and DFID aid.
In the statement, headlined “Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif of Pakistan secures apologies from The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline”, Carter Ruck said: “The MailOnline and the Mail on Sunday (published by Associated Newspapers) have apologised to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahbaz Sharif over false and very seriously defamatory allegations published in articles on 14 July 2019 under the headline ‘Did the family of Pakistani politician who has become the poster boy for British overseas aid STEAL funds meant for earthquake victims’.”
Carter Ruck said the allegations of corruption were wholly untrue and had no foundation in truth. The statement said: “The articles included [wholly untrue] allegations that Prime Minister Sharif, when acting as chief minister of the province of Punjab, embezzled British public money that had been paid to the Punjab province in DFID grant aid intended for the victims of the devastating 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Prime Minister Sharif has always categorically denied these allegations, which he believes were politically motivated.”
Carter Ruck added: “The Mail has now finally apologised to Prime Minister Sharif, and agreed to permanently remove the online article. Prime Minister Sharif was represented by Alasdair Pepper, Antonia Foster and Katherine Hooley.
It’s understood that Mail has started making offers of amends and apology within a year after Shahbaz Sharif and Imran Ali Yousaf issued proceedings against the publication.
In his claim against the Daily Mail newspaper, Shahbaz Sharif was defended by lawyers at Carter Ruck. Shahbaz Sharif had addressed a joint press conference with Carter Ruck lawyers to announce proceedings against the paper a few weeks after publication of the defamatory article. Sharif’s son-in-law Imran Ali Yousaf was represented by PTI UK leader Waheed Ur Rehman Mian’s law firm.
The Mail published an online apology to Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday and removed the article by David Rose from its website on the same day. On Sunday, Britain’s largest circulating Mail on Sunday (MoS) newspaper further published an apology to Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in one million print editions as part of the deal to apologise online as well as in print edition after global removal of the false and defamatory article by reporter David Rose.
The printed apology was available in print at thousands of supermarkets and news agents across the UK as per the agreement that Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) will first apologise online (on Thursday 8th Of December 2022) and then print the same apology on the following Sunday (December 11, 2022).
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