AGP confirms receiving Swiss tribunal verdict in Benazir's valuables case

Published: November 24, 2014
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) disclosed on Monday that a Swiss tribunal’s verdict regarding the case of a valuable jewellery set, belonging to the legal heirs of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, has been referred to the law ministry for translation.

“The Swiss Tribunal’s verdict was received by the AGP office last week and has been sent to the law ministry for translation,” Salman Aslam Butt said while speaking to The Express Tribune.

Butt added that after the verdict is translated from Swiss to English, he would be able to give his opinion to the government on the future course of action.

A Swiss federal tribunal ruled that the valuable jewellery set, seized by authorities in connection with investigations into graft allegations, belonged to former president Asif Ali Zardari or the legal heirs of late prime minister Benazir Bhutto. The set, which includes a necklace, a bracelet, a pair of earrings and a ring, is said to be valued over $180,000.

In the judgment, issued on October 29, the tribunal rejected ownership claims filed by Bomer Finance for the jewels. The company, allegedly formed by Jens Schlegelmilch and linked to Zardari, was at the centre of the SGS-Cotecna investigation.

According to Francois Roger Micheli, a counsel from the firm Python and Peter, which represented the government of Pakistan before the Swiss tribunal, the judgment states that Schlegelmilch “appeared to have acted as the attorney for the BB-AAZ (Benazir Bhutto-Asif Ali Zardari) couple”.

The case was originally filed by the AGP in October 1997 against Benazir Bhutto, her mother Nusrat Bhutto and husband Asif Ali Zardari.

The jewels were among items reportedly seized the same year, but the original cases were closed in 2008 following the promulgation of the National Reconciliation Ordinance. However, the cases were reopened on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Zardari, in the past, has publicly disowned these ornaments and denied allegations of corruption in the SGS-Cotecna scandal.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • SL
    Nov 24, 2014 - 4:52PM

    No action will be taken! Ally PML N will come to the rescue!

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  • syed
    Nov 24, 2014 - 5:01PM

    Where is Asma Jehangir ? and all the PTI haters now? An international court has given verdict against Zardari? but then again our inept government wont take any action in the name of democracy.

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  • salman
    Nov 24, 2014 - 5:17PM

    If the govt don’t follow through and pursue Zardari, it will 100% prove IK’s allegations of mukmuka. Cmon nawaz, prove IK wrong, if you dare….

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  • amjad hussain
    Nov 24, 2014 - 6:19PM

    What a joke! PM is in a dilemma whether to pursue this case as it would endanger PPP’s support to the government against IK & Qadri! Well, in any functional democracy (including India), it is not the PM or the government, but independent institution (NAB or equivalent) to investigate & prosecute! This pathetic state of affairs is precisely why IK & Qadr have been so popular – it’s the message, not the messenger, stupid!

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