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Friday June 21, 2024

Adil Raja admits to defaming serving officer in UK court

By Waqar Satti
July 19, 2023
Major (retd) Adil Farooq Raja faces a defamation case from a serving military officer.
Major (retd) Adil Farooq Raja faces a defamation case from a serving military officer.

ISLAMABAD: Adil Raja, a controversial blogger, has admitted to defaming a serving Pakistani military officer at the UK High Court.

The retired Major accepted before the London High Court that most of his social media publications were potentially defamatory towards the officer, who had taken legal action against Raja at the UK Royal Courts of Justice. Raja’s defamatory content included a tweet alleging that the officer’s colleagues intended to harm him, as well as Raja’s endorsement of terrorism against the officer.

Shortly before the hearing at the London High Court was scheduled to begin, Adil Raja, represented by his barrister, acknowledged that his publications and promotions constituted defamation under common law. He accepted almost all the meanings put forth by the lawyers representing the serving Pakistan military officer.

Interestingly, Raja’s barrister, according to documents, charged him a much lower fee, including VAT, for the hearing, which was subsequently adjourned. This stands in stark contrast to Raja and his wife, Sabine Kiyani’s claims on Twitter when they sought public fundraising for the case. They alleged that the barrister was charging £20,000 to £25,000 for each hearing. These tweets were published just six days after the hearing. The case was initiated in London approximately eleven months ago by the serving Brigadier after Adil Raja published several false and defamatory statements on his Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts, making unfounded accusations against the Brigadier, who holds a sensitive position in Punjab.

The military officer sued Adil Raja, asserting that the fugitive retired major deliberately spread false information about him to cause harm and profit from fake news on social media. Following the launch of the defamation case by the Pakistan military officer, social media giants YouTube, Facebook, and WhatsApp banned Adil Raja from spreading fake news and inciting violence. The UK anti-terrorism police have granted Adil Raja bail for inciting terrorism through his social media posts.

The military officer has sued Adil Raja over a total of ten publications. Adil Raja’s barrister acknowledged that most of these publications were potentially defamatory under common law, based on the officer’s claims. Legal sources indicate that Adil Raja made these admissions in court on the advice of his UK lawyer, who advised him that he had no choice but to accept them. The decorated Pakistan military officer, who heads ISI Punjab, pursued legal action against Adil Raja after the fugitive made false allegations, including claims that the officer was manipulating the political system by influencing the Lahore High Court, engaging in corrupt practices to ensure the victory of specific political parties etc. These allegations were vehemently denied by the officer.

Major (retired) Adil Raja initiated his campaign against the officer on June 14, 2022, through tweets and YouTube broadcasts. Court documents reveal that the military officer filed his case through his UK lawyers on August 11, 2022.

In his defamation claim, the senior military officer refuted each and every allegation as false and stated that he had suffered significant damage to his reputation, with the potential for further harm in the future.

Adil Raja, whose full name is Adil Farooq Raja, arrived in London from Islamabad in April 2022. He was apprehended by UK counter-terrorism police in June 2023 at his residence in Chesham. Raja has been released on bail and is presently under investigation for inciting terrorism within Pakistan.