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Daily Mail journalist still awaiting defamation suit from Shehbaz Sharif

LONDON: A journalist from Dail Mail UK, David Rose, has said he was still waiting for the defamation suit from the Pakistan Muslim League (N) President Shehbaz Sharif against his story exposing alleged thefts from the earthquake relief funds.

David Rose, in his Twitter message, said, “Hello friends in Pakistan. Some of you have been asking for an update about the 25 July press statement by former CM Sharif that he was going to issue a legal notice to sue me and the Mail on Sunday over this article. Still, nothing has happened.”

Shehbaz Sharif had claimed to serve a legal notice to the newspaper on July 26, alleging it as a ‘politically motived’ report. He had also shared copy of the legal notice in his Twitter message.

Background

A British newspaper had made startling revelations in its report on July 14 that British authorities have decided to initiate a probe into the millions of Pounds funds the UK sent to the government of Shehbaz Sharif as an aid.

The Daily Mail UK report claimed that the paper was given exclusive access to some of the results of a high-level probe ordered by the government of Pakistan. The paper said it was also able to interview key witnesses held on remand in jail, including a UK citizen Aftab Mehmood.

He claims he laundered millions on behalf of Shahbaz’s family from a nondescript office in Birmingham without attracting suspicion from Britain’s financial regulators. The paper said that Shehbaz and his family were embezzling tens of millions of pounds of public money and laundering it in Britain.

Read: ‘Quake relief fund embezzled in 2009-11’: Daily Mail journalist hits back at Shehbaz

They are convinced that some of the allegedly stolen money came from DFID-funded aid projects.

The report said that legal documents allege that Shehbaz’s son-in-law received about £1 million from a fund established to rebuild the lives of earthquake victims, to which DFID gave £54 million from UK taxpayers.

Investigators have launched inquiries into alleged thefts from DFID-funded schemes to give poor women cash to lift them out of poverty and to provide healthcare for rural families.

Stolen millions were laundered in Birmingham and then allegedly transferred to Shehbaz’s family’s accounts by UK branches of banks including Barclays and HSBC, the report said.

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