‘Swiss graft cases against Zardari can`t be reopened’

Last Updated: Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 15:26

Islamabad: Pakistan government on Thursday informed
the Supreme Court that graft cases against President Asif Ali
Zardari in Switzerland cannot be reopened in accordance with
its verdict, drawing a strong reaction from a five-judge bench
which said authorities seemed to be attaching no importance to
its order.

Appearing before the apex court bench hearing a suo motu
case on implementation of a ruling which annulled a graft
amnesty that benefited the President and thousands of others,
Attorney General Anwar-ul-Haq said the government had made no
contacts with Swiss authorities to revive the cases against

Haq also submitted Law Secretary Aqil Mirza`s official
response to the apex court.

He said the Law Secretary had made it clear that the
cases in Switzerland were over and there was no need for any
communication to reopen them.

The Law Secretary had also made it clear that the cases
against Zardari cannot be reopened, Haq said.

The Supreme Court bench expressed its dissatisfaction
with the government`s stand.

Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, a member of the bench, said the
government seemed to be attaching no importance to the court`s
verdict striking down the National Reconciliation Ordinance
(NRO) issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

The bench asked the Attorney General to name the person
who was impeding the implementation of the court`s verdict so
that the bench could take action against him.

The Attorney General replied that the government`s
intentions are honourable and proper procedures are being
adopted to implement the verdict.

The NRO, which was issued by Musharraf as part of a
secret understanding with Zardari`s slain wife and former
premier Benazir Bhutto, was struck down by the apex court last

Tensions between Zardari`s PPP-led government and Chief
Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry have increased since the apex
court began pressuring authorities to implement its order to
reopen graft cases against Zardari and his close aides.

Senior PPP leaders have insisted that the President
enjoys immunity from criminal prosecution.


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First Published: Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 15:26

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