ISLAMABAD: A letter written to Pakistan by Switzerland Tuesday revealed that the corruption cases cannot be reopened against President Asif Ali Zardari in any Swiss court of law, Geo News reported.
Pakistan's law ministry, which received the Swiss government’s response to the letter written to it by the government of Pakistan following the apex court’s order in the NRO case, opened the sealed envelope Tuesday.
According to sources, the Swiss authorities made it clear the money laundering cases against President Asif Ali Zardari and others could not be reopened as they have died down forever being 'time-barred'. That is to say the time (period) in which these cases could have been legally reopened has expired.
The Swiss law authorities also said that they had not received any new evidences against Pakistan's president, sources added.
The letter was opened by the Minister for Law, Zahid Hamid, said sources.
Earlier, the sources said that recently the Pakistan mission in Switzerland was approached by the caretaker government to get the host government’s response over the letter written to the Swiss authorities by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government with regard to the withdrawal of the 2008 Attorney General’s letter for the withdrawal of cases.
The sources added that the Pakistani mission approached the Swiss government and got its response, which has now arrived in the law ministry.
The erstwhile PPP law minister Farooq H Naek had claimed that the Swiss authorities had dropped the cases according to their own laws, and not in accordance with immunity under the Pakistani laws.
However, the law ministry during the caretaker government did not receive any formal communication from the Swiss authorities in this respect.The law ministry could only find in its official record the letter written to the Swiss authorities following the SC’s order in the NRO implementation case. The ministry’s files do not contain any response to this letter by the Swiss authorities.
On Monday, though the ministry of law received the sealed envelope, it was not opened and was marked to the law minister.
Farook H Naek during his tenure as law minister spoke a couple of times about the permanent closure of the cases. On one occasion, he said ‘the cases’ have been dismissed and they (cases) could never be reopened in the future.
“Speaking to the media in connection with the letter sent to Pakistan by the Swiss authorities, Farooq H Naek said the concerned officials in Switzerland had disposed of the cases in accordance with their own law,” a media report read indicating the receipt of a letter that was never found by the law ministry after Naek’s departure.
Naek had clarified though that the letter from the Swiss authorities was not sent officially to Pakistan.On another occasion, while speaking on Capital Talk, Geo News, Naek had said the Swiss authorities dropped the cases according to their own laws, and not in accordance with immunity under the Pakistani laws.
There too the former minister said Pakistan did not officially receive any letter from the Swiss authorities about ending the cases. The letter read out to him did not have any mention of Article 248 of the Constitution of Pakistan, he had added.
After finding no reply from the Swiss authorities, the law ministry during the caretaker regime, asked the country’s ambassador in Switzerland to contact the concerned Swiss officials for their response to Islamabad’s communication.
Recently, the ambassador informed the law ministry that he has received the letter, which was then immediately dispatched to Islamabad.