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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pakistan Elections: Zardari, Musharraf and the U.S.

The U.S. is reacting swiftly to rearrange the furniture in the aftermath of the elections. TeethMaestro reported a meeting of Zardari and Musharraf aides in the U.S. embassy. Do not look for denials. I am not sure of the timings but the following report of the GoP pressing ahead in Swiss Court can also be a nudging factor for the great unelected interim leader to go easy.

Govt presses Swiss court case against Zardari GENEVA, Feb 20 (Reuters): Lawyers representing Pakistan urged a Swiss court on Wednesday to prosecute Asif Zardari, the widower of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, accused of stashing 60 million Swiss francs ($55 million) in the country. At a hearing, Swiss lawyers for Pakistan argued that money-laundering charges against Zardari should proceed in Geneva in spite of an amnesty signed by Musharraf last year erasing graft charges against the couple. Pakistan's Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the constitutionality of that amnesty. Swiss lawyers representing the state said the decision was expected in “a few weeks”. “This dossier is a bomb for Zardari,” Pakistan's Swiss lawyer Dominique Henchoz told the Geneva court. “His name appears on each page as the beneficial owner of offshore companies. Some 60 million Swiss francs have been frozen (in Geneva accounts),” she said. The three-judge court in Geneva, announced at the end of the 90-minute hearing that it would rule soon on whether to send the case to the prosecutor for trial, or back to a magistrate for more work. Bhutto and Zardari always denied the charges. (Posted @ 19:25 PST)


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