Zardari graft cases not to be reopened

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 10, 2013 10:10 hrs

Islamabad, Feb 10 (IANS) Swiss authorities have said they cannot reopen corruption cases against Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Geo News reported Sunday.

In response to a letter written by the government of Pakistan asking the Swiss authorities to reopen the graft cases following an order by the Supreme Court, officials in Switzerland have expressed their inability to do so.

Federal Law Minister Farooq H. Naek has confirmed receipt of a letter from the Swiss authorities.

However, the exact contents of the letter were not known.

The Supreme Court in 2012 disqualified Yousuf Raza Gilani as prime minister as well as MP, holding him in contempt of court for refusing to reopen corruption cases against Zardari.

Gilani had refused to write to the Swiss authorities, arguing that the president enjoys immunity under the constitution.

Zardari had been granted amnesty under the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) in 2007 by then president Pervez Musharraf to facilitate his return and, primarily that of his wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Zardari and Bhutto were suspected of using Swiss accounts to launder about $12 million in alleged bribes paid by companies seeking customs inspection contracts in the 1990s.

The NRO that granted immunity to politicians and bureaucrats in corruption cases was struck down by the Supreme Court as void in 2009.

More from Sify: