Was signatory of Nielsen and Nescoll, Safdar testifies in court

Staff Reporter


Former premier Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law Captain (Retd) Muhammad Safdar, recording his statement before the accountability court on Tuesday, said he was a signatory of the trust deeds of offshore companies Nielsen and Nescoll while his wife Maryam Nawaz was a trustee.
Safdar was recording his testimony in the Avenfield reference under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code. He is named in the reference alongside Nawaz and Maryam, and his brothers-in-law, Hassan and Hussain Nawaz.
A day earlier, Maryam had also admitted to being a trustee of the offshore companies. However, she denied allegations that she was a beneficial owner of Nielsen and Nescoll or other Avenfield properties.
“I am not and I have never been the beneficial owner of Nescoll, Nielsen companies or the Avenfield properties, nor have I derived any financial benefit from either company or the said property in any way whatsoever,” she had testified in court on Monday.
During his testimony, Safdar deflected several of the 66 questions he was asked in court Tuesday, claiming that they were not related to him.
The ex-PM’s son-in-law told the court that he was treated like a “prisoner of war” by the Panamagate joint investigation team.
When accountability judge Mohammad Bashir inquired if Safdar was present at the time of a speech delivered by Nawaz Sharif in the National Assembly last year following the release of the Panama Papers, the retired captain’s counsel Amjad Pervaiz said that his presence was not mandatory.
Safdar added that he could not remember the contents of each and every speech delivered in the NA. “I can hardly recollect my own speeches,” he told the court.
The hearing was adjourned until May 30. Safdar’s counsel assured the court that he would complete his testimony Wednesday.
In an informal conversation with reporters at the accountability court, Safdar claimed that during the Panama Papers investigation, the JIT had tried to “pressurise” him and offered to make him an approver against Nawaz.

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