LAHORE/DUBAI: Chairman Bahria Town Malik Riaz has sent a fresh legal notice to journalist Hamza Azhar Salam, demanding a further 10 billion rupees in damages.
Malik Riaz had initiated legal action against The Pakistan Daily’s Editor in December last year, after Salam reported that Farah Gogi had purportedly travelled to Dubai in a Bahria Town plane to sell the Graff set gifted to Pakistan by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
According to the legal notice sent by Malik Riaz’s lawyer Azhar Siddique, the property tycoon sought not only 10 billion in cash but also an apology alongside deletion of the story.
After failing to have the story deleted, Malik Riaz sent a fresh legal notice to Salam, demanding a further 10 billion rs after The Pakistan Daily reported on the death threats issued by Malik Riaz’s team.
This takes the total damages Malik Riaz seeks from Hamza Azhar Salam to 20 billion rupees, whilst Azhar Siddique has sent a separate defamation notice to Salam demanding 2 billion rupees.
Despite issuing legal threats, Malik Riaz’s legal team has failed to take the matter to the courts, suggesting that they may want to avoid the legal realm, according to Salam.
“Right now there are cases of 22 billion rupees against me, Malik Riaz’s goons are after me in Lahore and Islamabad and I have left my home, however, Malik Riaz has failed to go to court against me,” Salam told The Pakistan Daily.
This comes after reports that both Malik Riaz and Azhar Siddique are not present in the country purportedly to avoid justice in regards to their role in the 9 May coup attempt initiated on Imran Khan’s behest.
Azhar Siddique not only represents Malik Riaz but also Imran Khan, his wife Bushra Bibi and her alleged Frontwoman Farah Gogi as well as her husband Ahsan Jamil Gujjar.
Hamza Azhar Salam told The Pakistan Daily that he believes Siddique has fled the country and will not return due to multiple investigations against him.
It is unclear what will happen to the cases Azhar Siddique has taken millions for from his clients.
Earlier, Reporters Without Borders, Pakistan Press Foundation and Punjab Union of Journalists condemned the threats issued by Malik Riaz to Hamza Azhar Salam.
“The threats have now intensified to the point that my life is in grave danger but I will not bow down to Malik Riaz, no matter the price,” Salam said.
Malik Riaz’s team has also threatened criminal cases against Salam and have hinted that he may be arrested in a fake case or face an accident if the reporting on Malik Riaz does not stop.