Govt won’t ask Swiss to reopen probe against me: Zardari

Last Updated: Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 20:35

Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali
Zardari has said the PPP-led government will not approach
Swiss authorities to reopen a probe into allegations of money
laundering against him, a move that could anger the Supreme
Court which has been demanding the revival of the cases.

Zardari said asking the Swiss government to revive the
corruption cases would be tantamount to putting his slain
wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, on trial.

"It is a point of principle...the Pakistan People`s Party
(PPP) will not try the grave of (Benazir Bhutto)," he said.
The President made the remarks during an interview with
Geo News channel when he was asked if there was a "personal
quarrel" between him and Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, who
has repeatedly asked the government to write to Swiss
authorities to reopen the cases.

The cases against Zardari were closed in 2008 under the
National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), a graft amnesty that
was issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf under a
secret agreement with Bhutto.

Bhutto was killed by a suicide bomber shortly after she
returned to Pakistan from self-exile in December 2007.
Musharraf was forced to resign the following year and
Zardari was subsequently elected the President.

In 2009, the apex court struck down the NRO, saying it
was illegal and unconstitutional. It then asked the government
to revive all cases that were closed under the NRO, including
the cases against Zardari in Switzerland.

The government has refused to act on the court`s
directive, saying the President enjoys immunity from
prosecution.
"The NRO case, Swiss courts these are all history for
us. About 12 to 15 months remain of my presidency. After that
whichever government comes can write (to the Swiss
authorities). Why should my government write?" Zardari said.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 19:04

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