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Rehman Malik Sues Blogger Cynthia Ritchie For Defamation Over Rape Allegations

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senior leader Senator Rehman Malik has sent a Rs500 million defamation notice to Islamabad-based American blogger Cynthia Ritchie for levelling ‘fake’ rape allegations. The former interior minister asked for an ‘unqualified public apology’ within 15 days.

DAWN reported that The PPP leader, through his lawyer, noted that Rehman Malik met Ritchie in his office in Ministry of Interior in the presence of Azam Swati’s daughter regarding a visa issue. “Any other meeting regarding your visa with [Malik] is out of the question,” it read.

The notice also mentions a tweet by Ritchie on June 2 in which she had accused Malik of illegally issuing a Pakistan Origin Card to a foreigner, adding that the claim was ‘strongly rebutted’ by the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra). “Since you failed in your accusation, you started his character assassination by levelling bogus and disparaging allegations on June 5 through your Twitter and Facebook accounts. “Due to the false, frivolous and baseless allegation, the reputation of Malik has adversely suffered at the national and international level,” the notice said.

The former interior minister demanded the blogger to pay Rs500 million in damages, a ‘prompt’ withdrawal of the allegations “in the same manner in which it was released and posted on social, print and electronic media” within 15 days of receiving the notice, as well as an ‘unqualified apology’.

In case of non-adherence, Malik warned that he would initiate civil and criminal proceedings against Cynthia Ritchie.

In a tweet yesterday, Cynthia said: “This week will involve criminal proceedings, finally, against PPP, Rehman Malik, et alia. US Embassy in Islamabad has been informed, of course, and I anticipate meetings to follow through with these matters”.

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