Accessibility links

Pakistani Court Drops Another Graft Charge Against Zardari

Lawyers say a Pakistani court has dropped another corruption charge against the co-chairman of the Pakistan People's Party, after clearing him of other graft charges last week.

The court's decision Wednesday leaves one remaining corruption charge against Asif Ali Zardari.

Last week, a court dropped five corruption charges against Zardari as part of an amnesty granted by President Pervez Musharraf. That deal allowed Zardari and his late wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, to return to Pakistan from exile.

The court also ordered Zardari's previously frozen assets to be released.

He has also been implicated in the murder of Ms. Bhutto's brother, Murtaza Bhutto, in 1996. The case has languished for years.

On Saturday, Zardari's party agreed to form a coalition government with the Pakistan Muslim League (N) after defeating President Musharraf's allies in an election last month.

Zardari spent years in jail in Pakistan on charges of corruption without being convicted. He was released on bail in 2004, and insists the allegations were politically motivated.

He became known as "Mr. Ten Percent" for allegedly receiving kickbacks while serving as a minister during his wife's second term as prime minister in the 1990s.

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