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Pakistan Sets New Deadline in Corruption Showdown

  • VOA News

Pakistani Law Minister Farooq H Naik talks with media representatives after appearing at the Supreme Court in Islamabad, October 5, 2012.

Pakistani Law Minister Farooq H Naik talks with media representatives after appearing at the Supreme Court in Islamabad, October 5, 2012.

Pakistan's highest court has given the government more time to prepare a letter asking Swiss authorities to reopen a corruption probe against Pakistan's president.

The Supreme Court's move on Friday gives the government until October 10 to consult with Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to revise a paragraph in the draft letter about graft allegations against President Asif Ali Zardari.

Judge Asif Saeed Khosa said a resolution was just "inches away."

Earlier this year, the court convicted and dismissed former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for refusing to ask Switzerland to reopen the case. The government later agreed to write a letter to Swiss authorities.

Prosecutors accuse President Zardari, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and others of laundering millions of dollars through Swiss bank accounts. Ms. Bhutto, President Zardari's wife, was assassinated in 2007.

Charges against Zardari and the others were dropped after a 2007 amnesty agreement, but the court struck down the deal in 2009 and has been battling to reopen the cases ever since.

Gilani had refused to cooperate, arguing instead that the president has legal immunity while in office.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP,
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