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Saturday Apr 03 2021

Broadsheet's Moussavi says will sue Justice Saeed for defamation, Ali Zaidi 'broke promise'

Retired justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed (L) and Broadsheet CEO Kaveh Moussavi are seen in this combination file photo.

  • Kaveh Moussavi says will file a defamation law suit against Broadsheet commission head retired Supreme Court justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed.
  • Says he will begin court proceedings if apology not received within seven days from the commission head.
  • Broadsheet CEO adds that Federal Minister Ali Zaidi had assured him he will be called to testify in probe but the "promise was broken".

LONDON: Broadsheet LLC’s CEO Kaveh Moussavi has revealed that Federal Minister Ali Zaidi was in touch with him and assured him he will be called before the Broadsheet Commission, headed by retired Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, to testify but the "promise was broken".

Speaking to Pakistani media in the city, Moussavi also announced that he would be launching a defamation case against Justice Saeed at the London High Court within a week if the Broadsheet Commission head does not apologise to him for the "libelous remarks" in his report.

Justice Saeed had described Kaveh Moussavi as a “convicted felon” in his report. It was a reference to Moussavi’s conviction around 20 years ago for eight months in a case brought by oil giant Vitol against him. Moussavi had refused to handover his computers to the court claiming he didn’t want the media or third parties to see human rights cases of Iranians.

The Broadsheet CEO said Justice Saeed "does not know the difference" between “civil contempt” and “criminal contempt", adding that "even a first year student of law" would know the distinction.

“That conviction is a badge of honour for me. I saved the lives of Iranian people from the regime. That’s one thing that I have done that I am most proud of. Justice Saeed does not know that my conviction was of such a nature that Oxford University made me Head of Public Law at the faculty.”

Moussavi revealed that after he won the case from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and received nearly $30 million from Pakistan through a court freezing order, Federal Minister Ali Zaidi got in touch with him and assured him that the Broadsheet Commission will get in touch with him.

The Broadsheet CEO said he had great hopes in Prime Minister Imran Khan but now he’s “profoundly disappointed” as Ali Zaidi never made good on his assurances.

He added: “PM Imran Khan you have been sold a duck. Despite the fact that your minister said that they (Broadsheet Commission) will reach out to me but they haven’t. I would say to Imran Khan that I had great expectations but all that dance and song was a false hope.”

Moussavi said that Justice Saeed "pretended" as though he was conducting a judicial inquiry but didn’t call the key witness and “libelled me”.

He said he would sue Justice Saeed at the London High Court unless he received an apology from him within seven days. “Let this be a notice. I will issue proceedings against him for libel within seven days.”

He told the media that Justice Saeed has also libelled Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, who appeared as a Pakistan expert before the arbitration court on behalf of Broadsheet LLC. Moussavi said that Dr Siddiqa’s name as an expert was recommended to him by Oxford University.

The report by the commission, he said, is a “black mark of shame on the judicial history of Pakistan”.

He said Justice Saeed should have recused himself over the “conflict of interest” matter, as he was part of the National Accountability Bureau when the Assets Recovery Agreement (ARA) was signed.

“Justice Saeed has no right to attack the reputations of people. He did a hatchet job attacking the reputations of individuals. I will remind people that Sir Anthony accepted my evidence when Pakistan appealed, the court accepted the evidence of Dr Siddiqua and did not accept the evidence given by NAB. The people of Pakistan have been sold a dud project here which is a lie through and through.”

Furthermore, Moussavi said that NAB’s former Prosecutor General Farouk Adam Khan is no more in this world but he was "attacked" too. “He was a man of integrity. He’s no longer there to defend himself. He did due diligence.”

The Broadsheet CEO said he told Ali Zaidi that Pakistan owed him more money and that he will enforce more court orders costing Pakistan more but Zaidi “assured me this will not come to that".

"He assured the inquiry will be fair, that the (former) Supreme Court justice was impressive. I thought they will conduct an inquiry in which judicial witnesses will be called under oath to testify, documents and evidence will be shared, but none of that has happened"

Moussavi said that the Broadsheet Commission report is a "farce". “This man was made head of the Commission so that he sets up a few people and covers others. He has done a great disservice to the people of Pakistan.”

Ali Zaidi didn’t respond to the questions sent to his phone.