Islamabad : The Pakistan government has informed the Supreme Court that it cannot reopen multi-million dollar graft cases against former President Asif Ali Zardari in Switzerland because the issue is “hopelessly time-barred”.
Attorney General Munir Malik told the court that reviving the graft cases against Zardari over the alleged laundering of $60 million was not possible because the government’s appeal was “hopelessly time-barred” and the decision to close the cases by the former attorney general in Geneva in 2008 had become final, Dawn daily reported.
But a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, which had taken up all cases closed under a controversial graft amnesty issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, expressed disappointment over what it said was a violation of its order.
The government was still waiting for a court order instead of taking practical steps in the matter, the court observed during the hearing on Friday.
On June 26, Malik had told the court that while the previous Pakistan People’s Party-led government had written a letter to Swiss authorities to reopen the cases, it had also sent a secret letter to the law firm it had engaged, asking for official confirmation of the Swiss authority’s inability to revive the cases.
The apex court has adjourned the matter till November 20 after the Attorney General sought time to seek instructions from the government.