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Friday Nov 16 2018

Nawaz admits gifting most of money from abroad to daughter


ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday admitted that he had gifted most of the money received from abroad to his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

The former premier recorded his responses to 120 out of a total of 151 questions today, for a third consecutive day before an accountability court in Islamabad.

He admitted receiving money from abroad, and said he had gifted 77 per cent of it to his daughter.

He reiterated that he was never a part of any transactions related to the sale of Al-Azizia steel mills. “I have never claimed to own Al-Azizia mills. I have always said I had nothing to do with the [mills].

Nawaz pointed out that all the money he received from abroad was documented in his tax returns, and that he was free to spend it as he wished.

He said he had never personally relied on Qatari Prince Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al-Thani’s letters in front of the Supreme Court, insisting that it did not at all seem from the letters that the Qatari royal family was not willing to cooperate with the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the case.

“The JIT kept unnecessarily strict conditions for recording their [Qataris’] statements. It seemed from the JIT’s ways that it did not want to record the prince’s statement,” he said.

Nawaz said that the statements of his sons, Hasan and Hussain, to the JIT were not recorded in his presence. “They were not presented before this court, nor are they being tried with me,” he pointed out.

The former premier said any statements associated with his sons could not be presented as evidence against him. “Their interviews can’t be presented as evidence. During investigation, no one’s statements serve as acceptable evidence.”

The court adjourned the hearing of the reference till Monday.

The accountability court has until November 17 to wrap up the remaining two corruption references – Al-Azizia and Flagship Investments – against the Sharif family.

The Supreme Court had granted final extension to the court last month, after its deadline to conclude the trials against the Sharifs had ended on October 7.