Murder allegations lead to libel suit
John Seth Bullard
A suicide in Pakistan, slanderous e-mails and allegations of murder are not storylines out of this summer's hottest paperback, but the subject of a lawsuit recently filed in Jefferson County.
Wahab Anwar died in June in Pakistan from an apparent suicide. However following Anwar's death, two men from Louisiana began a telephone and Internet campaign accusing Anwar's cousin, Mohammad T. Javed, of murder.
In an attempt to ruin Javed's reputation in the Beaumont business community, the suit alleges that Irfan Mehmood and Mohammad Khalid Mehmood began telling and e-mailing people that Javed killed Anwar.
Arguing that libelous written statements were published about him, Mohammed T. Javed along with Mohammad S. Javed and Farhat Javed filed suit against the Mehmoods on July 1 in the Jefferson County District Court.
"Defendant Irfan Mehmood's messages repeatedly emphasized that Plaintiff Mohammad T. Javed is a prominent businessman residing in Beaumont, Texas," the suit says.
"The message was published to approximately 60 Ã¯Â¿Â½ perhaps more Ã¯Â¿Â½ people in Texas. Plaintiff Mohammad T. Javed has experienced, and will in all likelihood continue to experience, significant damage to his reputation as a result of plaintiff s wrongful conduct."
The e-mail was seen by Mohammad T. Javed's minor children and wife, Farhat.
"Defendant Mohammad Khalid Mehmood made additional harassing comments or threats designed to intimidate (the Javeds) and insinuating that he could make their lives miserable," the suit says.
"Defendant intentionally published written statements of fact falsely accusing Plaintiff of murder. Defendant acted intentionally and with actual malice or, alternatively, was reckless or negligent with regard to the truth of the statements."
The Javeds are accusing the defendants of libel and acting with malice and are suing for exemplary damages, emotional distress and loss of reputation.
They are demanding a trial by jury and are represented by attorney John Seth Bullard of the Orgain, Bell & Tucker law firm.
Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.
Case No. E181-985