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Pandora Papers: Lebanon's former PM Diab gave up shares in implicated company

Lebanon's former prime minister Hassan Diab said on Monday he had given up shares in a company he was linked to in a leak of financial documents, and denied wrongdoing.

A statement by his office said he had taken part in founding the company in 2015 and owned 17 shares, but that the firm had no activity since then and he had since resigned his management role and sold his stake.

A Lebanese news organization, Daraj, was one of a number of international media outlets that reported the "Pandora Papers," a set of leaked documents purported to reveal offshore transactions involving global political and business figures.

Reuters has not verified the reports or the documents. The use of offshore companies is not illegal and not evidence of wrongdoing on its own, but the news organizations that published the trove said such arrangements could be intended to hide transactions from tax collectors or other authorities.

Daraj reported that top political figures in Lebanon, including Prime Minister Najib Mikati, had embraced offshore havens.

"Is founding a company against the law?" Diab said, adding that he reserved the right to sue anyone who tries to defame him.

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