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Pak court acquits Zardari in two corruption cases

Pak court acquits Zardari in two corruption cases
Zardari, 59, was named in the ARY Gold and Ursus Tractor corruption cases in the 1990s during the previous government of Nawaz Sharif.

The court in Islamabad acquitted him in the two cases, but he is still facing charges in two more cases known as SGS and Cotecna dating back to the same period. The other two cases will be heard on December 17.

Zardari, the co-chairman of Pakistan People’s Party, spent years in jail before being released by
former military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf in 2004.

After being released from jail,  Zardari left Pakistan and spent most of his time in the United States and UAE before returning home after the assassination of his wife Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

During his regime, General Musharraf through a political deal with Mrs Bhutto called National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) cancelled all corruption cases against the couple, as she was also nominated with  Zardari in several cases.

The Supreme Court in 2009 declared the NRO as illegal and all cases were revived, including five against Zardari. But the court failed to prosecute the former president as he was enjoying immunity.
However, all the co-accused in the five corruption cases were acquitted during the tenure of his government.

The accountability court reopened the references after expiry of the term of Zardari in October 2103.The former president, however, filed applications for acquittal without facing trial after he appeared in the accountability court earlier this year.

Experts believe that since all co-accused were already declared innocent and one of the key accused Bhutto was dead,  Asif Ali Zardari will easily wriggle out of the remaining two cases.


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