Pak court adjourns hearing on Swiss graft letter till Wednesday
Islamabad: Pakistan``s top court Tuesday gave the government one day to redraft a letter to be sent to the Swiss authorities for reopening graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
The judges raised certain objections concerning the letter and sought clarification from the Law Minister, Farooq H Naek, who had submitted draft of the letter before a five-member bench of the Supreme Court.
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf last week told the apex court that his government had decided to withdraw a letter previously sent to the Swiss authorities for closing graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. He had also assured the court that he would authorize the law minister to implement the court``s previous orders for writing to the Swiss authorities.
As the court resumed hearing on Tuesday after a week``s break, the law minister submitted draft of the letter along with an authority letter on behalf of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.
The judges adjourned the hearing for 15 minutes to read contents of the letter at their chamber. The five-member bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, later called on the law minister and the government``s lawyers inside the court chamber for consultation.
The court, in a short order, said that the judges have seen draft of the letter and also held consultations.
The law minister later said that he was invited to some points in the drafted letter which required consultations with the government. He then sought adjournment of the hearing for one day. The court accepted his plea and adjourned the hearing till Wednesday.
The draft seeks the withdrawal of letters written in May 22, 2008 by then attorney general Malik Qayyum to Swiss authorities that Pakistan was no longer interested in pursuing graft charges against President Asif Ali Zardari and his late wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
The graft cases were shelved in 2007 after then attorney general, Malik Qayyum, wrote letters to the Swiss authorities following the promulgation of a controversial amnesty law by then military President Pervez Musharraf.
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