A two-man probe team formed by the government has held former law secretary Yasmin Abbasey responsible for the missing documents pertaining to the revival of graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari in Switzerland.
The report of the inquiry, conducted by Cabinet Secretary Sami Saeed and Intelligence Bureau chief Aftab Sultan, has been submitted to the office of the Supreme Court.
The committee was mandated to establish facts about the missing records of the letter written by Swiss authorities to the government of Pakistan on February 4 2013 declining to reopen graft cases worth $60 million against President Zardari.
Last month, Attorney General Muneer A Malik told the apex court that the government was currently probing a matter related to the closure of cases against President Zardari, and particularly the secret letter written by Abbasey.
The letter written by Abbasey to Dr Nicholas Jeanding of law firm Fontanet Associes in Geneva on November 22, 2012 asked him not to revive the cases.
The government’s letter was forwarded to Swiss authorities following the apex court’s directions that the cases should be revived.
The apex court then decided that it would take action after going through the outcome of the inquiry. Now, the 35-page report has been submitted before it.
The committee had to expand its investigation to probe the delay in the communication of decisions of the “order of the non-entry into the subject”, issued by the judicial authorities in Geneva on February 4, 2013.
The committee also had to look into the subsequent delay, if any, in the office of the ambassador of Pakistan in Switzerland and the law ministry to communicate these facts to the prime minister.
Through Abbasey’s letter, Jeanding was asked to explain to the attorney general of Switzerland about the position of Islamabad that the order of closing the cases against President Zardari by the former attorney general on August 25, 2008 was final and under Swiss law they could not be reopened.
In its findings, the probe committee stated that the entire matter pertaining to correspondence to and from the ministry of law was handled in the office of Abbasey. According to the report, she never interacted with the probe committee despite repeated requests and instead questioned the legality of the proceedings of the committee in a note sent to it.
The committee has not been able to find any direct evidence that the February 4 decision of the Swiss authorities was ever conveyed to Islamabad before June 16.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2013.