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NRO implementation case: Letter sent to Swiss authorities

November 07, 2012

President Asif Ali Zardari—AP Photo
President Asif Ali Zardari. — Photo by AP/File

ISLAMABAD: The much-discussed letter in relation to the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case has been dispatched to authorities in Switzerland, DawnNews quoted the Pakistan Television as saying.

The Foreign Office had dispatched the letter, which was written in accordance with an order of the Supreme Court, on Nov 5.

The draft of the letter — seeking to reopen a graft case against President Asif Ali Zardari — constitutes the points upon which both the Supreme Court and Law Minister Farooq H Naek had reached a consensus.

The writing and sending of the letter would lead to an ease in the tensions between the state's two prime institutions.

Earlier, the government had contended that the letter could not be written as under the Constitution the president enjoyed immunity from prosecution.

On Oct 10, after more than 30 months into the NRO saga, the Supreme Court had approved the law ministry’s draft of the letter aimed at reopening the graft case against President Zardari.

The allegations against President Zardari date back to the 1990s, when he and his late wife, former premier Benazir Bhutto were suspected of using Swiss bank accounts to launder $12 million allegedly paid in bribes by companies seeking customs inspection contracts.

The Swiss shelved the case in 2008 when Zardari became president and the government continued insisting that the president had full immunity.

But in 2009 the Supreme Court overturned the NRO, a political amnesty that had frozen investigations into the president and other politicians, ordering that the cases be reopened.