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Zardari immune from Swiss prosecution

Sept. 24, 2010 at 12:14 PM   |   Comments

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Pakistani President Asif Zardari is immune from Swiss prosecution on corruption charges, a summary submitted to the Pakistani Supreme Court indicates.

Attorney-General Anwarul Haq Friday told the Supreme Court Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani approved the summary concerning the case against Zardari, Pakistan's English-language newspaper Dawn reported.

Sources told Dawn the summary indicated no case could be initiated against Zardari in Swiss courts on accusations of money-laundering because the president enjoys immunity under Pakistan's Constitution.

"Corruption cases against him (Zardari) are past and a closed transaction," Law Minister Barbar Awan said. "Even the case in Swiss court was time-barred and, therefore, it is not advisable to write letter to the Swiss authorities."

Dawn reported legal experts say the summary may create tension between the Pakistani judiciary and the executive branch because the chief justice wants a letter sent to Swiss authorities concerning the reinitiation of the allegations against the president.

The case against Zardari was withdrawn from the Swiss court under the 2007 National Reconciliation Ordinance by the previous administration of Pervez Musharraf, but stayed alive in an accountability court in Rawalpindi. Zardari was accused of taking kickbacks and the money was deposited in Swiss banks. The case was revived after the Pakistani Supreme Court scrapped the reconciliation ordinance.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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