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February 15, 2021

Solicitor says Daily Mail defamed Imran Ali Yousaf on false grounds

National

February 15, 2021

LONDON: The solicitor of Shahbaz Sharif’s son-in-law Imran Ali Yousaf has said the defamation meaning trial outcome at the London High Court was a vindication of his client’s claim against the Associated Newspapers Ltd’s (ANL) 2019 article that blamed him for money laundering and corruption.

Barrister Waheed-ur-Rehman Miah, who is Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) senior leader in UK and whose firm represents Imran Ali Yousaf, said that The Mail on Sunday had claimed that his client received £1 million, which he knew were embezzled from funds of Pakistan's Earthquake Relief and Reconstruction Authority (ERRA).

However, "there is evidence available of Yousaf not knowing" the origin of funds and had no relation with Ikram Naveed, the former ERRA executive.

Barrister Waheed said that he has been a PTI supporter and official for over 15 years and supported PM Imran Khan. “I will not support anyone involved in corruption or wrongdoing. I investigate the whole matter related to Imran Ali Yousaf. Before agreeing to represent, I went through the money trail, receipts and proof and I became convinced that allegations against Imran Ali Yousaf are false and there is no truth in these allegations.”

Barrister Waheed said that the Mail Online and the Mail On Sunday said that Yousaf was a beneficiary of millions of pounds of laundered money because he was linked to Shahbaz Sharif's family, but in court, the Mail’s lawyer told the judge that the paper didn’t accuse Yousaf of money laundering.

The judge rejected the publication's arguments and told the publication to establish proofs that Yousaf was involved in money laundering and that the evidence must be matched with the words used in the article.

“The fact Justice Matthew Nickin determined that Yousaf has been defamed at the highest level, in ERRA part, and defamed at the second-highest level in the overall corruption allegations, is a proof that the Daily Mail’s arguments were found to be insufficient that it didn’t accuse him of corruption," Barrister Waheed said. The solicitor maintained that the allegations "were completely untrue.’