Asif Zardari graft cases: Pak govt submits to SC Swiss letter draft
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Under immense pressure to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan government today submitted before the Supreme Court the draft of a letter to be sent to Swiss authorities in this regard.
Law Minister Farooq H Naek submitted the draft before a five-member apex court bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, after which the judges studied it and raised some objections before adjourning the hearing in the case till Wednesday
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had last week told the apex court that his government had decided to withdraw a letter previously sent to Swiss authorities for closing the graft cases against Zardari.
He had also assured the court that he would authorise the Law Minister to implement its previous orders for writing to the Swiss authorities.
As the court resumed hearing the case today after a week-long break, Naek submitted the draft of the letter along with an authority letter on behalf of Ashraf.
The judges adjourned the hearing briefly for 15 minutes to read the contents of the letter at their chamber. They later called the Law Minister and the government's lawyers inside the court chamber for consultation.
The court then said the judges have seen the draft of the letter and also held consultations.
The Law Minister later said his attention was drawn to some points in the drafted letter which require consultation with the government following which he sought adjournment of the hearing for one day.
The court accepted his plea and adjourned the hearing till Wednesday.
The draft seeks the withdrawal of letters written in May 22, 2008 by the then Attorney General Malik Qayyum to Swiss authorities that Pakistan was no longer interested in pursuing graft charges against Zardari and his late wife, former Premier Benazir Bhutto. The graft cases were shelved in 2007 after Qayyum wrote letters to the Swiss authorities following the promulgation of a controversial amnesty law by ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf.
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