ISLAMABAD: The Swiss government in a letter to the Pakistan Ministry for Law has said that graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari cannot be reopened, Express News reported.
Law minister Farooq H Naek confirmed on Saturday that the Swiss authorities had responded to letters written by the Pakistan government last year on the instructions of Supreme Court.
Pakistan had sent the letter to Swiss authorities in November 2012. Pakistan’s mission in Geneva had been given advice from National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Prosecutor General KK Agha, who prepared the case while working as an additional attorney of Pakistan, the sources further informed The Express Tribune. At the time, Agha closely coordinated with then NAB chairman Nawid Ahsan – who sent letters to the Swiss attorney general under section 21 of the NAB Ordinance 1991 as well, requesting mutual legal assistance.
At the time eminent international law expert Ahmer Bilal Sufi maintained the chances that graft cases against President Zardari will be opened were ‘miniscule’.
“Swiss legal wizards will examine Islamabad’s request under local laws,” said Sufi, explaining that “in Switzerland, once an investigation against the accused is closed on the request of the aggrieved party, it becomes very difficult under local laws to entertain a request to reopen the case.”
His opinion seemingly supports the text of the Swiss letter as well, which states: “This is without prejudice to the legal rights and defences of presidents/heads of state which may be available under the law, constitution and international law.”