PPP Senator Rehman Malik has couriered Cynthia Ritchie a second defamation notice worth Rs50 billion, a statement by Malik’s spokesperson said on Tuesday.
A Rs500 million defamation notice was sent a day prior in response to Ritchie’s allegations of rape against the former interior minister.
Today’s notice was sent in connection with the US blogger’s appearance on various news channels on Sunday and “levelling baseless allegations” against the senator on air.
“Cynthia Ritchie’s accusations are a pack of lies. I strongly reject them,” said Malik.
“[She] levelled undue and baseless allegations on television programmes,” he added.
“I will have her answer for her lies in court,” Malik vowed.
Ritchie’s claims on TV regarding Bhutto tweet
The feud seemed to have begun with Ritchie’s “slanderous” remarks against late PPP leader Benazir Bhutto, but what the blogger claims likely stem from “dirt” she has on the party.
Ritchie, in a Geo News interview with “Naya Pakistan” host Shahzad Iqbal said a PPP leader provided her information on Benazir Bhutto based on which she had posted the tweet.
She said that she would prove her allegations against senior PPP leaders in court and would present whatever evidence she had to authorities in Pakistan.
Ritchie said that she was “going nowhere” and was ready to face the consequences if her allegations were proven false.
In the first legal notice, Malik strongly rejected Ritchie’s allegations, saying that the entire episode was a fight for Benazir Bhutto’s prestige. He paid tribute to Bhutto by saying that the slain former prime minister was considered a leader of impeccable repute by the entire country.
The former interior minister, in the notice, said that he would expose the faces behind Ritchie’s allegations at the appropriate time. Malik claimed that he was constantly receiving threats of being sent to jail or killed.
The PPP leader said that he had never bowed to pressure before and would not do the same now. Malik said that he did not harbour any grievances against Ritchie and said that she was the citizen of a friendly country.
PPP-Ritchie online spat takes dark turn
The ongoing social media spat between Ritchie and various PPP leaders took a dark turn on Friday after Ritchie took to Facebook to level several serious allegations against the party’s senior leadership.
In a video broadcast live on Facebook, Ritchie alleged that then interior minister Malik had raped her while former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani and then health minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin had “manhandled” her at separate occasions.
She stated that the incidents occurred in 2011 when the PPP was in power.
Besides Malik, Gillani too, has flatly denied the accusations and said he will pursue legal action against Ritchie.