Saturday Mar 20, 2021
LONDON: The Broadsheet CEO, Kaveh Moussavi, and human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith have traded accusations over their meeting involving Shahzad Akbar to discuss the London High Court judgment in favour of Broadsheet LLC and a possible "discount” for Pakistan on nearly US$30 million.
While it’s now well-known that the first meeting between Shahzad Akbar, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s adviser on accountability, and Kaveh Moussavi was fixed by David Rose, the Daily Mail reporter who also sat in the meeting where a future deal was discussed between Pakistan and Kaveh Moussavi, there was a mystery as to who had organised the second meeting in London.
David Rose, Kaveh Moussavi and Shahzad Akbar met in London on 19 October, 2020 to discuss the Broadsheet deal but the meeting ended without any final deal. The News understands that the second meeting was organised, within days, by Reprieve founder Clive Stafford Smith to find a resolution and the way forward.
Kaveh Moussavi has confirmed that Clive requested him to meet Shahzad Akbar but there was no commission deal between him and Smith. Kaveh Moussavi has said that David Rose had arranged his meeting with Shahzad Akbar after they agreed on a deal of £250,000 commission for the successful full payment to Broadsheet LLC by Pakistan through efforts of David Rose via Shahzad Akbar.
However, the UK journalist had denied allegations levelled by Kaveh Moussavi. "I cannot imagine why would Kaveh make the details of the meeting public after 17 months," Rose had said, adding that the Broadsheet's chief executive had offered him a commission, which he had rejected.
Speaking to this correspondent, Clive Stafford Smith said he organised and sat in the second meeting between Kaveh Moussavi and Shahzad Akbar to urge Moussavi to give a discount to Pakistan on nearly US$30 million that Pakistan owed to the Broadsheet LLC.
Clive Stafford Smith said he “wanted to mediate to try to convince Kaveh not to take away millions of dollars from the mouths of Pakistanis, particularly the children, after having done no constructive work that in any way benefited Pakistan”.
Clive Stafford Smith said that Kaveh Moussavi stressed throughout the meeting “he must get this money from Pakistan because he said that would teach them about the rule of law”.
Clive Stafford Smith said: “I found the notion ridiculous that Pakistan should pay someone who has done nothing and I told him so. My position was that regardless of how he got a judgment, it was morally offensive he was getting all that money for doing nothing.”
When asked what was his interest in organizing the meeting, especially when there was a judgment in favour of Broadsheet CEO, Clive Stafford Smith said that he has “always loved Pakistan and have cared for its people. I have known the country and its people over the decades and I have worked for several years on the American drone strikes and their devastation.”
Clive Stafford Smith, David Rose and Kaveh Moussavi have known each other for nearly two decades and worked together on Guantanamo Bay related campaigns.
Clive Stafford Smith said he proposed to Kaveh Moussavi that he should take his expenses so he was not out of pocket but he “flatly refused to consider any resolution other than all the millions he wanted. He walked out”.
Kaveh Moussavi confirmed that he walked out of the meeting in “disgust” when he realized that Smith had no respect for the “rule of law” and was more interested in doing PR with the Pakistan government. Moussavi said he intends to spend money in Pakistan on education and clean water through independent and credible NGOs but needs “no lecture from anyone” on how to spend his money.
Kaveh Moussavi said Clive Stafford Smith is a “selective human rights lawyer” who “capitalizes on human rights issues to achieve fame, glory and money” while remaining silent on actual human rights issues in countries such as Iran and Pakistan.