Monday, November 29, 1999

Awan to appear before SC to explain government`s stance on Swiss case against Zardari

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Islamabad, May 15 (ANI): Pakistan Law Minister Babar Awan is likely to personally appear before the Supreme Court on May 25 and explain the reasons behind the government's decision not to formally ask the Swiss government to open the money-laundering cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.The Supreme Court has expressed its discontent over the government's inaction in light of its December 2009 verdict declaring the controversial amnesty law, the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) as 'unconstitutional' following which all pending cases against Zardari and other beneficiaries of the NRO had to be reopened.The apex court had summoned Awan to highlight the official stand concerning the case, as many contradictions had appeared in the past due to the government's continuous flip-flops over the issues, The News reports.Earlier, Attorney General Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq had told the Supreme Court that Law Secretary Justice (retired) Muhammad Aqil Mirza , who has resigned, had made it clear that the Swiss cases had been closed and that there was no need for any communication with the Swiss government to reopen the multi-million dollar money laundering cases.Cases against Zardari and 157 others were reopened after the Supreme Court declared the controversial amnesty law, the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) as 'unconstitutional' in December last year.Zardari and his assassinated wife Benazir Benazir were convicted by a Geneva court in 2003 of laundering 13 million dollars linked to kickbacks, but that verdict was overturned on appeal. In 2008, Swiss judicial authorities said they had closed the file related to the case. (ANI)

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