LONDON: A British court has held a preliminary hearing in a defamation suit filed by Shahbaz Sharif against a journalist.

According to the detail, Shahbaz Sharif’s defamation suit filed against David Rose and a British newspaper was heard by the Queen’s Bench in London.

Benj judge Justice Nicklin ruled that “the words used in the article published in the newspaper were a disgrace to Shahbaz Sharif. The Daily Mail will have to prove the allegations against Shahbaz Sharif.”

The court said that Shahbaz Sharif was at the center of the article by journalist David Rose. Corruption and kickbacks have also been mentioned in government projects.

Justice Nicklin said that “the article said that Imran Ali also benefited from kickbacks and corruption while Shahbaz Sharif was written as the poster boy of UK DFID”.

The court issued its verdict at today’s hearing in which it was written that whether the allegations made in the newspaper were true or false, will be decided in the trial. The meanings of the words used in the article were also discussed during the hearing.

During the hearing, it was proved that defamatory words related to Shahbaz Sharif and Umar Ali were used in the article on the basis of which the judge also determined the standard of defamation and said that defamation first-class means allegations of serious nature.

The hearing determined whether the words in David Rose’s news story could be defamatory and to what extent serious words were used. The court ruled that the words could lead to defamation and placed it in the first category, ie, serious defamation. However, it is not a matter of deciding whether the allegations made in the newspaper are true or false.

This will be decided at trial and if the Daily Mail proves the allegations were true, the defamation suit will be dropped. On the other hand, David Rose denied in a tweet and wrote, “Today’s verdict is not the final outcome of the trial. Contrary to some Pakistani channels, today’s hearing was preliminary. Today’s verdict sets the limits of the trial. The trial is still pending.

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