UK court imposes penalty on Adil Raja

Orders YouTuber to pay £10,000 to Brigadier (retired) Rashid Naseer

APP April 14, 2024
Major (retd) Adil Raja. SCREENGRAB


Controversial YouTuber Major (Retd) Adil Farooq Raja faced a setback as a UK High Court judge dismissed all his applications, including his request to halt a defamation trial brought against him by former senior military officer Brigadier (Retired) Rashid Naseer.

The judge ruled that Raja had published seriously defamatory remarks about Naseer in nine social media posts on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter/X.

Deputy High Court Judge Richard Spearman KC ordered Raja to pay £5,000 to the now retired brigadier for the dismissed application to halt the defamation trial. Additionally, the judge instructed him to make an interim payment of £5,000 towards the costs incurred for the failed security for costs application.

Raja has until April 17 to make this payment.

Assisted by his lawyer and PTI UK leader Mahtab Anwar Aziz, who also represents PTI activist Shayan Ali, Adil Raja attended the court remotely via video-link and argued that Brig (Retd) Rashid Naseer's case should be stayed on several grounds.

However, the court rejected all his arguments, which included claims that Pakistan is an authoritarian state where the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) controls both the judiciary and the government, as well as allegations about rigging in the February 8 general elections in the country.

The judge determined that nine out of the ten statements published by Raja were defamatory of Naseer under UK common law and constituted matters of fact rather than expressions of opinion.

Naseer's name came into the public domain when former PM Imran Khan accused him of political interference – allegations that Khan and his party later retracted.

In interpreting the meaning of the social media posts, Deputy High Court Judge Richard Spearman KC concluded that Brig (Retd) Rashid Naseer was defamed under UK common law by Adil Farooq Raja's various allegations, which lacked supporting evidence.

The retired military officer sued Raja, claiming that the YouTuber had intentionally spread false information about him to cause harm and profit from fake news on social media.

Raja initiated his campaign against the officer on June 14, 2022, through tweets and YouTube and Facebook videos. Court documents show that the retired brigadier filed his case through his UK lawyers on August 11, 2022.

In his defamation claim, Naseer refuted each allegation as false and stated that he had suffered significant damage to his reputation, with the potential for further harm in the future. Raja has been residing in the UK since April 2022.


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