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Thursday, November 15, 2012
International

Pak PM relieved of contempt charges

Pakistan's Supreme Court yesterday withdrew a contempt notice issued to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf earlier this year after he failed to approach Swiss authorities to revive graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

A five-judge bench headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali retracted the contempt notice after law minister Farooq Naek presented a receipt that showed the Swiss authorities had received the government's recent letter for the revival of the graft cases on November 9.

During the hearing, Naek requested the court to dismiss the case as the government's letter, written by the attorney general, had been sent to the Swiss attorney general in Geneva.

Justice Jamali acknowledged that the government had complied with the court's directives of writing to Swiss authorities for reopening the graft cases.

Talking to journalists after the hearing, Naek said the court's decision was a victory for justice and democracy.

The government, he said, had implemented every directive of the apex court.

The government's letter to the Swiss authorities makes it clear that the graft cases can be revived with the condition that the President enjoys immunity under the Constitution and Pakistani and international laws.

The Supreme Court and the government recently came to an agreement on the contents of the letter to be sent to the Swiss authorities after months of sparring.

The government had initially refused to make any move to revive the cases.

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