Private channel New Vision TV, a broadcaster of ARY UK, has issued an apology to London-based PML-N leader Nasir Butt for airing a programme in which he was called a “criminal, a multiple murderer and a member of a drug cartel.”
Earlier, ARY UK had issued an apology to former finance minister Ishaq Dar. Now, ARY UK has apologised to Butt for “the distress, upset and embarrassment which these broadcasts had caused him.”
Nasir Butt will also be paid damages and his legal costs will be covered by ARY’s UK broadcaster.
The apology was issued on defamatory remarks in two shows which were aired. On July 7, 2019, it was alleged in a televised programme that Butt was an organised criminal.
Then in a programme aired on July 14, 2019, the channel aired comments by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan who claimed that Butt had fled justice from Pakistan.
Butt had filed a defamation claim in the High Court of Justice through his counsel, demanding an apology, damages and a retraction.
ARY UK has said that it accepts that Butt was not an organised criminal, triple murderer or member of a drug cartel. It also agreed to pay damages and his legal costs.
Butt came into the spotlight on July 6, 2019 when the PML-N leadership alleged that judge Arshad Malik had been “blackmailed” into passing a verdict against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference.
PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz revealed a set of videos at the press conference, which purportedly showed Butt in conversation with judge Malik at the latter’s house.
However, the judge claimed that he was blackmailed by the PML-N supporters. Judge Malik also lodged a case with the FIA against Butt and others.
The Federal Investigation Agency raided a Rawalpindi house owned by Butt in July, and claimed to have recovered “important documents.”
Judge Malik passed away in December 2020 after contracting coronavirus.