I was not even an MP then: Natwar Singh | india | Hindustan Times
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I was not even an MP then: Natwar Singh

"I was not holding any official position at that time. I was not even an MP then," Natwar Singh said.

india Updated: Aug 03, 2006 23:29 IST

Former external affairs minister K Natwar Singh on Thursday defended himself against charges of misuse of official position related to Iraq's oil-for-food-scam saying he held no official position at that time.

"I was not holding any official position at that time. I was not even an MP then," Natwar Singh said.

He, however, refused to comment on reports saying the Justice Pathak inquiry commission, which submitted its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, had indicted him in the scandal that has touched many leaders across the world.

"I have yet to see the report. I can't go by what the media is saying," Natwar Singh said when asked about the report that was apparently leaked to the media selectively.

Justice Pathak, inquiring into the Indian links in the multimillion dollar corruption scandal following the publication of UN's Volcker report, has reportedly given a clean chit to the ruling Congress party, while indicting the veteran Congress leader for abusing his position when he visited Iraq as part of a party delegation.

Asked if the Pathak report was implicating him, he replied: "That is for you to judge."

Natwar Singh was forced to resign as foreign minister last year following publication of the UN report that named him as a 'non-contractual beneficiary' in the scandal in which people in many countries illegally benefited by transacting food for oil with the then Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq that was under global sanctions. The oil was then sold at a premium in the open market.