Pandora Papers: World leaders deny wrongdoing after leaks

Several world leaders have denied wrongdoing after featuring in a huge leak of financial documents from offshore companies.

Dubbed the Pandora Papers, the 12 million files constitute the biggest such leak in history.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Jordan’s King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein are among some 35 current and former leaders linked to the files.

Both have issued statements saying they have done nothing wrong.

Jordan’s royal palace said it was “not unusual nor improper” that King Abdullah owned property abroad.

Leaked documents show the leader secretly spent more than £70m ($100m) on a property empire in the UK and US since taking power in 1999.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov meanwhile questioned the reliability of the “unsubstantiated” information, after it detailed hidden wealth linked to President Putin and members of his inner circle.

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The data was obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington DC, which has been working with more than 140 media organisations on its biggest ever global investigation.

BBC Panorama and the Guardian have led the investigation in the UK.

Other leaders linked to the leak include:

  • Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who allegedly failed to declare an offshore investment company used to purchase two villas for £12m in the south of France
  • Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who – along with six members of his family – has been linked to 13 offshore companies
  • Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera, a billionaire businessman, who is accused of selling a copper and iron mine in an environmentally sensitive area to a childhood friend, as detailed in Spain’s El Pais newspaper
  • And Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, whose family and close associates have allegedly been secretly involved in property deals in the UK worth more than £400m

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Source: Pandora Papers: World leaders deny wrongdoing after leaks – BBC News

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