Former principal of Arabiyya School, Nasrullah Musthafa, demanded MVR seven million from each journalist in the lawsuit he filed for defamation against five journalists of daily newspaper, Mihaaru, and local media group VMedia.
Nasrullah had filed the lawsuits after Mihaaru and VMedia published reports regarding his case where he had been accused of scamming four people whom he sent to Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrimage last year. The four had been left without anyone to receive them upon arrival. Hajj Cooperation had later taken responsibility over them.
The state had filed cases against Nasrullah at the Criminal Court for scamming the four people and illegally sending them to Hajj with out proper permits.
He had initially pressed charges against Muizzu Ibrahim, Ahmed Abdulla Saeed, Fazeena Ahmed, Asima Nizar and Mohamed Yameen of Mihaaru, and VMedia. However, during the Civil Court’s dispute resolution meeting held on Tuesday morning, he dropped charges against Muizzu Ibrahim.
It can be noted that Nasrullah had filed separate cases against each of the journalists where he had demanded MVR 7 million from each as compensation for defaming him.
A second meeting is scheduled for next week. If both parties fail to come to a peaceful agreement, the court will begin trials for the case.
Several local media groups and the international organisation for press freedom, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), have raised concerns over this lawsuits. RSF tweeted saying that they stand in solidarity with VMedia and the five journalists of Mihaaru. Several people have also called out Nasrullah for standing in the way of independent journalism.
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Source URL: Mihaaru-News