- Safdar says wife Maryam Nawaz was trustee of Nielsen, Nescoll companies
- Claims he was treated like a ‘prisoner of war’ by JIT
ISLAMABAD: Ousted premier Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law Captain (r) Muhammad Safdar 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 before the accountability court in the Avenfield reference under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). 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.
Safdar, his wife Maryam Nawaz and father-in-law Nawaz Sharif appeared before Accountability Judge Muhammad Bashir. The father and daughter left the court shortly after marking their attendance.
Both Maryam and Nawaz have already recorded their statements in the reference.
During his testimony, Safdar deflected several of the 66 questions he was asked in court, 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 (JIT).
When the judge 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 on Wednesday.
‘DIDN’T WANT FAMILY AROUND WHILE I RECORD STATEMENT’:
During the break in court proceedings, a journalist asked Safdar why none of the members of Sharif family stayed back for his testimony. He replied: “It was my decision to not have any family member around while I record my statement.”
When another journalist asked why his wife Maryam Nawaz left the court, he said that he has spent the last 25 years of his life with Maryam. “Mian Sahab needs her more than I do,” he added.
The Avenfield reference, pertaining to the Sharifs’ London properties, is among three filed against the family by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) last year on the Supreme Court’s directives.