Monday Feb 15, 2021
LONDON: The Broadsheet LLC CEO Kaveh Moussavi’s first meeting in London with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s accountability advisor Shahzad Akbar was organised by Daily Mail journalist David Rose who wanted Broadsheet to pay him a commission of £250,000 to settle his outstanding mortgage on his Oxford home in exchange for getting nearly $30 million paid to Broadsheet by the Government of Pakistan, according to Kaveh Moussavi.
In an interview, Kaveh Moussavi said that not only did David Rose organise his meeting with Shahzad Akbar in London but also participated in their meeting at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington on October 19, 2019 and attempted to find ways of Pakistan and Kaveh Moussavi working together in future. Kaveh Moussavi and David Rose are neighbours in Oxford and both have known each other for many years.
David Rose has never spoken about the fact that he played a key role in organising the meeting but confirmed on Monday through a series of tweets that he had organised the meeting between Shahzad Akbar, Kaveh Moussavi and the fourth unnamed person.
Kaveh Moussavi said: “David Rose told me he knew Shahzad Akbar. We met in my house in Oxford and we had a chat. David Rose said he would organise the meeting (with Shahzad Akbar) and he did. What was in it for him? He said that he had a big mortgage. I said if I am paid (by Pakistan) then I can settle it (the £250,000 mortgage). We shook hands and said that I will settle his mortgage and I said I will be happy to do that and that was it.”
Kaveh Moussavi said he told David Rose he will have no problem settling his “big mortgage” of £250,000 if David Rose helped him get his nearly US$30 million owed by Pakistan.
“I said to him (David Rose), frankly, that I have to spend that kind of money on lawyers and enforcement anyway then so if you settle [the payment] then your mortgage will be settled. That’s how we left it,” said Kaveh, adding: “It would have been his commission. He wanted a commission which would have been his mortgage.”
Kaveh said David Rose asked for £250,000 specifically and “I wouldn’t know what his mortgage was unless he told me that”.
Kaveh said he asked David Rose why Shahzad Akbar had sent him. “Why do they have to send you? They can just write to me. David Rose said they just want to establish trust. I said you don’t need trust; you need to send a cheque. David Rose said ‘I will set up, organise a meeting for you with Shahzad Akbar’. I said fine. Then he said what’s in it for me? I said, 'What do you want?'.”
Kaveh Moussavi claims that David Rose replied that he “has got a big mortgage” of approximately “£250,000”.
Kaveh claimed he told David Rose that Pakistan owed him around US$30 million “so I am happy to give you a commission. I will clear that with the lawyers and if they don’t approve then I will pay that out of my share which is not a significant amount."
After the initial alleged agreement between Kaveh Moussavi and David Rose, they met Shahzad Akbar and another lawyer accompanying Akbar. Kaveh didn’t know his name. “There were four of us and we had lunch together. That was in October 2019.”
At the meeting, Kaveh Moussavi claims David Rose “gave some formulas” about how “we could work together in future and all that”. Kaveh said he replied that he was first interested in the getting his money before discussing a future deal.
“He tried to be creative and when it didn’t work, afterwards he became very offensive in his text and all kinds of things”.
Shahzad Akbar and Kaveh communicated last through text message on 26th October 2019. However, Kaveh says his communication with David Rose has continued - and they have clashed.
Kaveh claims he has text messages and emails to prove that David Rose became 'hostile' to him after he refused to do the deal.
He claimed: “David Rose became very offensive in his texts and his emails to me. I found it quite incredible that this was a man I trusted because of the Guantanamo Bay connections and then I found that no I certainly don’t trust him today. The issue was a 180-degree change in position. He’s a man who is trying to settle this thing and I said yes I will help him settle his mortgage and the reality was that he started becoming a hostile person to me. You should see his text messages. It’s quite extraordinary.”
David Rose confirmed that he arranged Kaveh Moussavi’s meeting with Shahzad Akbar. David Rose said: “I’ve known Kaveh since 2003. It all started when he asked me to his house (very near mine) and told me about the litigation. He asked me to arrange a meeting with Shahzad. I’ve known Shahzad for a long time too, so I agreed to do this. So far as I was concerned, I was just doing a favour for a friend, though twice Kaveh said he would pay me a commission if he concluded a settlement.
David Rose said: “At first I thought he was joking, but when he repeated the offer by text , I told him (verbally) I couldn’t accept this. I never asked for and never received any payment in relation to this meeting. For the avoidance of doubt: Yes, I arranged the meeting with Shahzad at Kaveh’s request, but I made it clear I didn’t want to be paid for this. There was no settlement at the meeting.”
Speaking on Geo News show Aaj Shahzaib Khanzada Kay Saath, Shahzad Akbar confirmed that two meetings did take place involving him and Moussavi.
He said that Pakistan's appeals against the Broadsheet case had been thrown out by the court hence the purpose behind the meetings was to renegotiate the payments.
The prime minister's aide said that during the first meeting, Akbar asked Moussavi to lower the payments of the Broadsheet award.
"Moussavi in turn responded that this is a court's judgment and you will have to pay [the full amount]," said Akbar.
He confirmed a second meeting was held at Chelsea with Moussavi but it ended on the same note, with the Broadsheet head asking for the full payment and not agreeing to anything else.
Akbar further said that in the meeting, Moussavi wanted to "engage again" with Pakistan but he told the Broadsheet CEO that negotiations for that can also be held if he agreed to lower the payment for the award.
PM Imran Khan's aide said that he clarified to Moussavi, however, that it was not his jurisdiction to approve another engagement between Pakistan and Broadsheet and that the process would go through the proper channels of the attorney general, the cabinet and the prime minister.
"I know David Rose for the past five to seven years," said Shahzad Akbar, adding that the British journalist used to come to Pakistan to do stories hence he knew him since a while ago.
Akbar said that neither of the two, David Rose and Kaveh Moussavi, never mentioned any agreement between them pertaining to £250,000. He refused to comment further on Moussavi's 'character', adding that it wouldn't be appropriate on his part as a government representative especially when multiple litigations were going on.
He said that David Rose and Moussavi were both in the UK and had leveled serious allegations against one another, adding that they were free to take legal action against one another.
"As far as the government of Pakistan is concerned, we have formed a commission here with ToRs (terms of references) to confirm some allegations hence our role is pretty much straightforward," he said.
Akbar categorically denied that he was not David Rose's source for story in the Daily Mail that alleged Shahbaz and his family had siphoned off UK’s aid money.
PM Imran Khan's aide said that the PML-N had alleged that he was behind the story, adding that if that were the case, they would have sent him a legal notice and not only sued the UK publication.
"So they turned back on their own stance," he said, referring to the PML-N. "Otherwise, they would have to prove the allegation that I was behind the article."
In response to a question, Akbar said that he is ready to present evidence against Shahbaz Sharif in the Daily Mail defamation case, saying it is a "public offer" on his part.