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Government hints at reopening Swiss cases against Asif Ali Zardari

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said on Thursday that Swiss cases against former president Asif Ali Zardari can be reopened after the discovery of record by the Broadsheet inquiry commission, ARY News reported.

Briefing media about the federal cabinet meeting that took place in Islamabad with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, Fawad Chaudhry said that the legal team was working on Swiss cases record against Zardari.

“We are thankful to Broadsheet inquiry commission for finding Swiss cases record against Zardari,” said Chaudhry, adding that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) now has a record of Swiss cases and they can reopen cases against Zardari.

The Broadsheet inquiry commission report was made public today after the approval of the federal cabinet that met with PM Imran Khan in the chair.

Read More: Swiss cases against Zardari cannot be reopened: NAB informs Supreme Court

The commission has blamed the country’s bureaucracy for delaying payments to the firm hired for finding assets of political leaders abroad that led to a US$9 million fine.

De-seal Swiss cases record

The Broadsheet inquiry commission in its report recommended to de-seal Swiss cases record of the former president Asif Ali Zardari.

The committee in its report has unearthed the Swiss cases recorded kept in the record room of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The inquiry commission recommended de-seal the record of the cases.

The record should be reviewed as to what has to be done with it, the Broadsheet committee recommended.

Swiss cases

The Swiss cases created a rift the judiciary and the executive as then prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani refused to write a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen the case. He was eventually dismissed from office in contempt of court case on April 26, 2012.

Former attorney general Malik Qayyum had written a letter to Swiss authorities in 2012 seeking re-opening of graft cases against PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, but the federal government didn’t pursue the matter afterwards in earnest.

In 2015, another letter was written to the Swiss authorities who refused to re-open the cases for being time-barred.

The government of the then president Musharraf had promulgated the NRO, quashing cases against politicians, which cleared the way for many to return to the country.

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