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NAB Has Not Questioned Me About Corruption Of A Single Rupee: Maryam Nawaz

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Wednesday rejected the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigation report presented in an accountability court, saying that the bureau had not questioned her about “a single rupee’s corruption.”

Maryam had appeared before an accountability court for the hearing of the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, in which she was arrested last month along with her cousin Yousaf Abbas.

NAB requested the court to grant extension in the 15 days physical remand but was granted a seven-day extension only.

The NAB prosecutor apprised the court that the Chaudhry Sugar Mills was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan since 1992 and was established with a total investment of Rs700 million, out of which Rs400 million was borrowed from a bank.

The prosecutor further said that the mills received a loan of $15 million from offshore companies owned by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s family. He said that the anti-corruption watchdog was collecting all records of Maryam’s income and tax records as well as data on the Sharif family’s offshore companies.

According to the prosecutor, Maryam and her cousin Abbas had failed to give satisfactory answers on the $15 million loan.

The investigation officer told the court that cash worth Rs900 million was transferred in two bank accounts belonging to Chaudhry Sugar Mills. He said that the name and identity of the person who sent the money was not yet known. The accused claim that the unknown person was their employee but did not present his record to the bureau, he added.

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Terming the NAB report as “contrary to facts”, the counsel for Maryam and Abbas argued that the transfer of money into accounts “is not a crime”. He added that the anti-corruption watchdog had no reason to demand an extension in remand.

Speaking to reporters in court, Maryam said, “In the past 42 days, I was not questioned about corruption of a single rupee. They keep asking why my grandfather transferred his business to me. I have told them a 100 times that a person usually transfers shares of his property to his own children and not to his neighbours.”

She also questioned why NAB had arrested her if they had not gotten hold of the relevant documents.

“How can a person submit documents while they are under arrest?” she asked. “I was arrested for political reasons only because I was holding popular rallies,” she said.

While speaking to reporters, Abbas complained that he was provided food by the jail authorities, although the other prisoners were allowed to have home-cooked meals. “This is evidence of NAB’s small-mindedness,” he said.

Later, Maryam said that if the NAB authorities think that I will make any requests, they are greatly mistaken.

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