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Pakistan court quashes corruption case against Zardari

In this September 25, 2012 file photo, Asif Ali Zardari, the then President of Pakistan, addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Pakistan’s former president Asif Ali Zardari has been acquitted by an anti-corruption court in an old corruption case in which he was accused of possessing illegal assets.

Mr. Zardari’s counsel Farooq H Naek requested for acquittal of Mr. Zardari and Justice Khalid Mahmood Ranjha National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court accepted it.

He said that the most of the documents presented against 62-year-old Mr. Zardari were in photocopies and unacceptable. He also said that most of the witnesses said that they did not remember most of the details as it was an old case.

Finally, the judge quashed the case and acquitted the former president on Saturday.

The case was launched in 1999 but quashed in 2007 along with five more such cases against Mr. Zardari after a political deal between his now slain wife Benazir Bhutto and former dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf.

However, the Supreme Court rejected the deal and consequent amnesty in 2009 and ordered a probe but it could not start a case against Mr. Zardari as he enjoyed immunity as president.

The case was again started in 2015 and finally decided in favour of Mr. Zardari. It was last of the six corruption cases against Mr. Zardari and he has been now acquitted in all of them.

Mr. Zardari’s daughter Bakhtawar took to social media to celebrate the verdict: “While IK (Imran Khan) and NS (Nawaz Sharif) hide from NAB, my father Asif Ali Zardari’s last pending case has just been acquitted. Faced 11+ years without a single conviction”.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 9:58:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistan-court-quashes-corruption-case-against-zardari/article19569713.ece

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