Due to a lack of proof, the Dubai authorities rejected an attempt by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s lawyer to file a criminal defamation lawsuit against Geo News.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) defamation suit and criminal proceedings against Geo News, its anchor Shahzeb Khanzada, and Dubai-based businessman Umer Farooq Zahoor were launched by Imran Khan, the former prime minister, in December last year.
According to reliable sources, Hassan Aslam Shad contacted the Barsha police station earlier this year to register the case on behalf of Imran Khan, but the Dubai police declined to do so because there was insufficient supporting documentation and the lawyer had failed to demonstrate the case’s legal viability under UAE law.
Imran Khan tweeted on December 17 of last year that he had “now started criminal defamation (libel and slander) proceedings under the UAE law against Geo TV, Shahzeb Khanzada, and fraudster Umer Farooq Zahoor.”
In response to Imran Khan’s tweet, attorney Hassan Shad said, “Alhumdulillah, it is a wonderful pleasure & privilege for me to fight for my leader & the last hope for millions of Pakistanis. I have a lot of responsibility with this. May Allah Almighty grant us the ability to expose all liars and reveal their true selves to the world.”
Three months later, Imran Khan’s attorney was unable to file “criminal defamation (libel and slander) procedures under the UAE statutes” against anchorperson Shahzeb Khanzada, Umar Farooq Zahoor, and Geo TV.
In the UAE, defamation is governed by criminal law rather than civil law. According to Articles 371 to 380 of UAE Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, defamation against a person or organization may result in the filing of a criminal case. If the defendant is proven guilty in accordance with the Criminal Code, they may face up to a two-year prison sentence or a fine of AED 20,000. Anyone who wants to make a complaint must first go through the police before moving on to public prosecution.