ISLAMABAD          -          The Secretariat police have doubted the allegations levelled by US national Cynthia D. Ritchie against former interior minister Rehman Malik and former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gillani as unsubstantiated and opined that it required further inquiry before proceeding further into the matter, sources said on Friday. 

The police, prima facie, found the contents of the application as unverified, and not supported by concrete evidence as she alleged that she was raped by the then Interior Minister Rehman Malik and was now facing intimidation into suppressing her voice/testimony. The application, a copy of which is exclusively available with The Nation, was submitted with the police days after a local court directed the FIA to proceed against Cynthia D. Ritchie for allegedly defaming former prime minister of Pakistan and slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto.  The police, however, maintained that the complainant neither mentioned phone number, date and time when she was called nor did she mention name of the caller. “She did not state in her application about the nature of the threat. She has alleged of having been raped in 2011, but upon inquiry no complaint was found to have been lodged with any of the police stations at that time. There is no MLR attached with the application which is required in rape cases as the most reliable evidence,” maintained the police.  

Ms. Ritchie approached the Secretariat police on 17 June against Rehman Malik and Yusuf Raza Gillani as they were allegedly using their influence in media and Media Cell of PPP ‘to intimidate, threaten, harass and defame’ her on social media.

On June 15, an Additional District and Sessions Judge of Islamabad had directed the FIA to proceed against the US blogger for allegedly defaming former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto. The judge in his order observed, “There is no denial from proposed accused [Ritchie] that she created this tweet on social media. Hence, a crime has been committed falling under Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act [PECA] 2016 and FIA is competent to investigate the matter in accordance with the law.” PPP’s Islamabad president Advocate Raja Shakeel Abbasi had filed the petition under Section 22-A of the Criminal Procedure Code, seeking registration of FIR against Ms Ritchie on defamation charges.