Rehman Malik sends second legal notice to Cynthia Ritchie over talk show allegations

Updated 10 Jun 2020

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Islamabad-based American blogger Cynthia Ritchie has accused Senator Rehman Malik of raping her in Islamabad in 2011. — Screengrab/File
Islamabad-based American blogger Cynthia Ritchie has accused Senator Rehman Malik of raping her in Islamabad in 2011. — Screengrab/File

PPP Senator Rehman Malik on Tuesday sent a second legal notice to Pakistan-based American blogger Cynthia Ritchie, asking for an "unqualified public apology" and withdrawal of the "false, bogus and malicious" statements that she made during her June 7 appearances on two TV talk shows.

Ritchie had last week accused Malik of raping her in Islamabad in 2011, and stood by her allegations during subsequent interviews.

Earlier on Sunday, Malik had sent a legal notice to the blogger through his lawyer, asking for a public apology and withdrawal of rape allegations within 15 days.

The senator's second legal notice, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, accuses Ritchie of making "false, bogus and malicious" statements about Malik raping her during her appearances on two talk shows on June 7 — anchorperson Muhammad Malick's Breaking Point with Malick and Geo TV's Naya Pakistan hosted by Shehzad Iqbal.

Due to the "false, frivolous and baseless allegation", the reputation of Malik has "adversely suffered at the national and international level", it says, adding that the senator has a right to "redeem his position" after her TV appearances.

Malik, through the notice, has demanded from Ritchie Rs50 billion in damages, a "prompt" withdrawal of the allegations "in the same manner in which [they were] released and posted on social, print and electronic media" within 15 days of receiving the notice, as well as an "unqualified apology".

In case of non-adherence, Malik has threatened to initiate civil and criminal proceedings against Ritchie, the notice sent through his lawyer says.

In a series of tweets earlier today, Ritchie responded to Malik's second legal notice by noting that she never received the first one and that she looks forward to facing Malik in court.

She said that Rs50 billion "could do a lot of poverty alleviation and rape prevention/representation programmes".

Ritchie, who was at the centre of a controversy earlier this month when she tweeted what the PPP described as "derogatory and slanderous remarks" about slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, had accused Malik of raping her in a live video posted on her Facebook page.

She also accused former federal minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin and ex-prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani of "physically manhandling" her while Gilani was staying at the "President's House" — a charge denied by both the senior PPP leaders.