Adil Raja Faces Setback in Defamation Case Against Brig (R) Rashid Naseer

By Asif Ali Awan

| Published Apr 18, 2024 | 10:53 a.m.

In a significant legal development, Adil Raja, a contentious YouTuber, faced a substantial setback in a defamation case against Brigadier (Retired) Rashid Naseer as a UK High Court Judge dismissed all of Raja's applications, including his plea to halt the defamation trial. The judge found that Raja had published seriously defamatory content against Naseer across various social media platforms.

Deputy High Court Judge Mr. Richard Spearman KC ordered Raja to pay £5,000 to Na

seer for the rejected stay application and an additional £5,000 interim payment for the failed security for costs application. 

Raja, represented by his lawyer and PTI UK leader Mahtab Anwar Aziz, argued remotely before the court, seeking to halt the case on several grounds, including allegations against Pakistan's judiciary and government control by the ISI, and claims of election rigging.

The High Court Judge ruled that nine out of ten publications by Raja were defamatory of Naseer under UK common law, based on allegations made without evidence in June 2022. These included accusations of election manipulation, abuse of power, and involvement in political interference. Naseer, denying all allegations, will now require Raja to prove the substance of each claim.

In a separate application, Raja sought £250,000 as security for costs, which was rejected by the court. Instead, Naseer agreed to provide an undertaking for £4,000 as security. Raja's request for witness anonymity was partially granted until witness statements are exchanged, subject to further court approval.

Another application by Raja to dismiss Naseer's claim for lack of serious harm was adjourned by the Judge. Naseer, represented by Counsel David Lemer of Doughty Street Chambers, asserted that Raja spread false information deliberately to harm him and profit from social media fake news. The defamation case was initiated on August 11, 2022, with Naseer refuting all allegations and claiming significant reputational damage.

The case hinges on Raja's alleged deliberate spread of false information about Naseer, which the latter claims caused him substantial harm and tarnished his reputation. Raja, residing in the UK since April 2022, was represented by Mahtab Anwar Aziz of Central Chambers Law Solicitors.

The rejection of Raja's applications by the UK High Court marks a significant legal blow in the ongoing defamation case, intensifying the legal battle between the YouTuber and the retired military officer. The ruling underscores the seriousness with which the court views defamation allegations and the importance of evidence in such cases.

As the legal proceedings continue, both parties are preparing for a rigorous examination of the allegations and evidence presented. The outcome of the case will have implications not only for the individuals involved but also for the broader understanding of defamation law in the context of social media and online platforms.