PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif has sent a legal notice to British publication The Mail on Sunday and online news site Mail Online, and its journalist David Rose, about an article published on July 14, it emerged on Friday.
According to a press release, issued by London-based legal firm Carter-Ruck Solicitors, a formal legal complaint was issued against the news outlets and investigative journalist Rose for the “gravely defamatory” story.
The story published earlier this month claimed that Sharif, the former chief minister of Punjab, had embezzled funds provided by UK’s Department for International Development for the rehabilitation of the 2005 earthquake. It quoted Assets Recovery Unit Chief Shahzad Akbar and a few other individuals — none of whom were in an official position. The story was quickly refuted by the PML-N and the party had insisted that it was published “on the behest of [Prime Minister] Imran Khan”. It was also rejected by DFID, that said the body’s “robust systems protected UK taxpayers from fraud”.
“The article is gravely defamatory of Mr Sharif, including false allegations that he misappropriated UK taxpayers’ money in the form of DFID aid intended for the victims of the devastating 2005 earthquake in Pakistan,” the press release read.