Pakistani PM to write to Swiss powers

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday gave two weeks more to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to write to Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The apex court had earlier set 25 July deadline for the prime minister to approach the Swiss authorities to reopen the corruption cases, Xinhua reported. Ashraf’s predecessor, Yousuf Raza Gilani, was disqualified by the court for contempt after he refused to accept the court’s orders.

Attorney General Awltaf Qadir on Wednesday sought more time to file a review petition against the court’s 12 July verdict, when it had set 25 July as the deadline.

Accepting the attorney general’s plea, a five-judge bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa adjourned the hearing till 8 August and directed Ashraf to write the letter to the Swiss authorities. The court also asked the attorney general to file a review petition against its 12 July order.

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

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