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Pakistan Supreme Court to Review Amnesty Law Targeting Ex-PM Bhutto


Pakistan's Supreme Court says it will rule on legal challenges to a government amnesty lifting corruption charges against former Prime Minster Benazir Bhutto.

The amnesty, signed last week by President Pervez Musharraf, ended all corruption cases filed against Ms. Bhutto and other politicians dating from 1985 to 1999.

The ordinance was one of Ms. Bhutto's conditions for a possible power-sharing deal with the president, and allowed her to return from exile next week without the threat of arrest.

In Friday's ruling, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said any benefit gained by the former public officials is still subject to the court's decision on the challenges.

President Musharraf announced the ordinance just before Saturday's presidential election by the parliament and provincial assemblies. In return, members of Ms. Bhutto's party did not resign from the assemblies, as other opposition members did, to protest against General Musharraf's reelection while still army chief.

The Supreme Court also is set to rule on whether the president's election victory while continuing on as army chief is constitutional. General Musharraf has promised to relinquish the military post if reelected.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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