Next government can approach Swiss courts: Zardari

January 8th, 2012 - 4:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Benazir Bhutto Islamabad,, Jan 8 (IANS) President Asif Ali Zardari has said since he would remain the country’s president for only the next 12-15 months, the next government can write to the Swiss courts on his alleged money laundering. “Why would my government do so,” he asked while speaking to Geo TV.Zardari said issues relating to the Swiss courts and the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) had historical significance and thus, “neither I nor my prime minister would want such a thing to be part of the history”. Zardari became the president in September 2008 for a five-year term.

To another question, Zardari said it is his party’s decision not to write to the Swiss courts.

Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had, in 1998, accused former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her spouse Asif Ali Zardari of awarding a pre-shipment inspection contract to the Societe Generale Surveillance (SGS). This was done in return for six percent commission on the total amount the company received from the Pakistan government.

In 2009, the NAB withdrew the cases against Zardari and Bhutto under the NRO of 2007. An ordinance on this was issued by then president Pervez Musharraf to enable Bhutto and Zardari return to Pakistan.

But, in December 2009, the Supreme Court declared the ordinance void and ordered reopening of the cases against Zardari and other beneficiaries of the SGS deal.

Earlier, in August 2008, Swiss judicial authorities, acting on the request of the Pakistani government, had closed the money laundering case against Zardari and released $60 million frozen in Swiss accounts.

The Pakistani Supreme Court, in December 2009, termed the NRO unconstitutional and ordered the reopening of all the cases that had been closed after its promulgation.

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