Nasir Mehmood, Senior Vice President of the United Kingdom Chapter of the Pakistani Muslim League Nawaz (“PML-N”), awarded substantial damages and injunction against Samaa News broadcaster, Up and Coming TV Limited

On 15th June 2023 Mrs Justice Heather Williams handed down judgment, following trial, awarding Mr Mehmood £35,000 in damages for libel.  

Mr Nasir Mehmood, also known as Nasir Mehmood Butt, is the senior vice President of the United Kingdom chapter of the PML-N party and a close associate of the former Pakistani Prime minister, Nawaz Sharif. 

In 2018 Mr Sharif had been convicted of corruption and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by Judge Arshad Malik. In 2019 Mr Mehmood obtained video footage in which Judge Malik appeared to admit convicting Mr Sharif unjustly, as a result of pressure placed upon him by the Pakistani authorities.  Judge Malik subsequently issued a press release and an affidavit claiming that the video had been distorted and that he had been offered bribes and threatened by, amongst others, the Claimant.  Those allegations formed the basis of the defamatory broadcasts by Up and Coming TV Limited.

In her detailed judgment Williams J rejected the Defendant’s defence that the defamatory sting of their broadcast was substantially true, and that they had believed that publishing the words complained of was in the public interest.  She rejected, in particular, witness evidence provided, on behalf of the Defendant, that it had contacted the Claimant prior to broadcast to give him an opportunity to comment.

Awarding the Claimant damages of £35,000, Mrs Justice Williams concluded that whilst the original broadcast would have been seen by less than 1000 people, there would have been substantial percolation of the story given the Claimant’s political profile and the considerable interest in the story within the Pakistani community in England and Wales

David Lemer represented Mr Mehmood and was instructed by Ushrat Sultana and Sadia Qureshi of Stone White Solicitors.

The judgment is available here.