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Jagat Singh quizzed about Iraq visit

Source: PTI
May 30, 2006 14:12 IST
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Jagat Singh, son of former external affairs minister Natwar Singh, who appeared before the Pathak Inquiry Authority going into the alleged pay-offs in the United Nations oil-for-food scam, on Tuesday said it asked him about his visit to Iraq in January, 2001.

"They asked me about my visit to Iraq, and what my interests over there were," he said.

Jagat said he had supplied whatever information he had to the one-man authority, who is examining Jagat's role in the alleged scam in which Natwar Singh and Congress party have been named as non-contractual beneficiaries.

He said the examination was based on documentary evidence gathered over several months by the government's Special Envoy Virendra Dayal and several other investigative agencies probing allegations into the Indian angle in Iraq's oil-for-food programme scam.

Asked whether he was in support of further extension of the tenure of the authority, Jagat said he wished that the truth behind these allegations would be uncovered as soon as possible.

"Only those who are guilty would want a delay in this matter. My father and I have nothing to hide and we definitely hope that the probe will end soon," he said.

When asked to compare this examination with that conducted by the Enforcement Directorate some time ago, Jagat said this (the Pathak Inquiry) covered all the points, and was a very thorough examination.

Though Andaleeb Sehgal and Aditya Khanna, in the hearings before the authority, had admitted that Jagat and his father were non-contractual beneficiaries in the alleged scam, Jagat had denied any involvement in the issue.

In his reply to a notice by the authority, Jagat had maintained that he had given details of his bank accounts, income tax returns and business to the authority and if it so wished, it could get other details submitted to the ED.

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