Zardari: Graft case may reopen

Islamabad : In a U-turn, Pakistan Premier Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that his government was revoking a letter sent to Swiss authorities asking for the closure of graft probe against President Asif Ali Zardari, a move that may pave way for reopening of the cases against him.

Ashraf informed the apex court of the government’s decision when he appeared before a five-judge bench to face contempt charge for failing to reopen the cases against Zardari.

Zardari: Graft case may reopen

The Prime Minister’s move to revoke the letter came as a surprise because till date the government had refused to act on apex court’s demands saying the President enjoys immunity in Pakistan and abroad. The case had cost former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani his job in June.

With the revocation of the letter written during the regime of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, Ashraf said it would be up to Swiss authorities to decide whether the cases against Zardari should be reopened.

Recent reports in the Pakistani media have suggested that the statute of limitations in Switzerland has ended and the cases can no longer be revived.

The government is also banking on the premise that Swiss authorities will refuse to reopen the cases as the President enjoys immunity under international conventions.

The apex court will hear the case next on September 25 and has exempted the Prime Minister from future appearances.

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Free Press Journal