Letter controversy: ‘Bleak chance’ of reopening graft cases, says Swiss attorney

Published: January 10, 2013
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File photo of President Asif Ali Zardari present at a meeting at Qasr e Millat Dushanbe. On November 5, 2012, the government, on the directions of the Supreme Court dispatched a letter to Swiss authorities for reopening graft cases against him. PHOTO: APP/FILE

File photo of President Asif Ali Zardari present at a meeting at Qasr e Millat Dushanbe. On November 5, 2012, the government, on the directions of the Supreme Court dispatched a letter to Swiss authorities for reopening graft cases against him. PHOTO: APP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan’s High Commission in Geneva informed the Presidency on Wednesday that there is a “bleak chance” of reopening of dormant graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari under the existing local laws.

A senior official at the Presidency told The Express Tribune that a Swiss attorney, who is assisting Pakistan’s mission in Switzerland, communicated to the concerned diplomats in Switzerland that Islamabad’s request for reopening the corruption case against the president has “no substantial grounds”. Therefore, revival of Swiss cases against President Zardari seems unlikely, he said.

“The issue of reopening graft cases is almost finished now. It appears almost impossible for the Swiss attorney general to entertain Pakistan’s request regarding this issue,” said the senior official, who did not disclose the name of the local attorney who was providing legal assistance in the case.

Representative of Pakistan’s mission in Geneva hired services of a local attorney, who is currently assisting the attorney general of Switzerland, the official revealed.

“I cannot tell you the exact date of their [Swiss authorities] final observations over the letter. But our legal team believes their findings will come out by end of this month.”

“Yes, legal wrangling over the Swiss [letter] issue is now over,” Attorney General Irfan Qadir confirmed to The Express Tribune on Wednesday.  He, however, did not explain saying, “the issue is finished now.”

Meanwhile, Law Secretary Yasmin Abbasi said her ministry was yet to receive official correspondence from Swiss authorities or the Pakistan High Commission over the matter. She, however, endorsed Qadir’s point of view. “The matter should be in knowledge of the apex court which was also dealing with the case,” she said.

“I cannot say anything on the issue until I receive a written response from the Swiss attorney general,” she said. “Let’s wait for their [Swiss authorities’] response.”

On November 5, 2012, the government, on the directions of the Supreme Court dispatched the contentious letter to Swiss authorities for reopening graft cases against President Zardari who allegedly set aside millions in kickbacks earned illegally.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Chei
    Jan 10, 2013 - 11:01AM

    The whole nation was taken for a ride for over a year for this.

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  • SheeshaDude
    Jan 10, 2013 - 11:05AM

    Look at the picture .. as if he is laughing on us and how he has made a fool out of us and the whole country !!!

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  • Mirza
    Jan 10, 2013 - 11:23AM

    Let us take suo motu against the Swiss courts and their arroney general. How can they not follow our dictates?

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  • Jan 10, 2013 - 11:27AM

    Clearly the Swiss don’t want to give up the money!

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  • Just another shia
    Jan 10, 2013 - 11:29AM

    so what does this mean… all the tax payer’s money spent by the court for hearing the case goes in vain …although political point scoring was done by the courts on our money … kudos to the apex courts for turning blind eye from real issues like shia genocide and bhatta mafia and recoverable NAB reference …

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  • Deendayal M.Lulla
    Jan 10, 2013 - 12:01PM

    Was the case an ego maasage for the judiciary? The entire case forces one to think that world over,there is a need to relook at contempt laws,which are one-sided – in favour of judges. Contempt laws are open to abuse. It is a global problem. Did not the judiciary do its home work? It could not have directed the Swiss authorities. I remember what Asma Jahangir wrote in an article on contempt proceedings. She had said that in such cases,you fight with your hands tied. In a legal system,there should be laws for litigants. There are laws for judges and lawyers,but not for litigants. Why this unfair treatment for litigants? A litigant cannot believe in thin air that the judge will apply his mind. Judges have to be made accountable for the judgements they deliver. A challenging job for Bilawal Bhutto. I hope he takes up the challenge. Unfavourable contempt laws is a global phenomenon. Change is the principle of nature,and the judiciary cannot be an exception.

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  • Patriot
    Jan 10, 2013 - 12:21PM

    How he made us fool, he is nothing but a part of us. If you want to see real Pakistan visit any place like passport office, driving license office, Nadra office or any government office. You will see real Pakistani and he is also a real Pakistani.

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  • padishah
    Jan 10, 2013 - 12:37PM

    @SheeshaDude:
    @Chei:
    Churchill described Indian (when Pakistan was yet to happen) politicians as Men of Straw. The old guard was not but the current lot are. And the Pakistani people have got leaders that they deserve as they elected them. Its the choice of the people.

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  • Mika
    Jan 10, 2013 - 12:37PM

    Leader is just like us, so why complain.

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  • FN
    Jan 10, 2013 - 12:41PM

    Some are above the law, sadly.

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  • Lalai
    Jan 10, 2013 - 1:01PM

    It was obvious from the very beginning that this would definitely going to happen.However, we as a nation did insist to make mockery of ourselves by offering our elected president to Swiss attorney general/magistrate just to give in to the ego of few judges.

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  • Shanzay Khan
    Jan 10, 2013 - 1:03PM

    He successfully halted the supreme courts with all the drama for last 4 years. He achieved his goal. All of the millions of dollars of Pakistanis in those Swiss banks are lost now. Q.E.D Justice delayed is justice denied (to the pakistani people).

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  • Hataf Shahab
    Jan 10, 2013 - 1:09PM

    Fool? Hello, the court, THE SWISS COURT just declared him innocent! they have no grounds! no charges.

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  • bhatti
    Jan 10, 2013 - 2:49PM

    it is more important to spend time to resolve the issue of continuous leaking and escaping of tax by all big buisness groups and mafias, if we stick to one case and pursue it to humilate someone on political or personal reasons, it wil end up the same way as the above ” case ” ended………………………………. and also we need able and briliant judiciary as well … which is unfortunately by and large absent.

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  • bhatti
    Jan 10, 2013 - 2:51PM

    @Mika:
    agreed

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  • Parvez
    Jan 10, 2013 - 2:56PM

    ……………does that make him innocent ??

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  • SS
    Jan 10, 2013 - 3:20PM

    They delayed so the time limit exceeds that exists in Swiss Law for opening dormant cases

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  • Ali
    Jan 10, 2013 - 3:21PM

    Whole nation taken for the false ride to divert there attention, in this the Supreme court itself is involved, no one is clean. Deadline was longtime new by all….. Its a great Humilation for the whole nation.

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  • Sandip
    Jan 10, 2013 - 8:13PM

    Don’t you worry. The Honourable Supreme Court with all its Supreme knowledge of jurisprudence will issue another suo moto notice, this time against the Swiss. How can they possibly disregard the opinion of the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan with such utter callousness?

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