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Switzerland Denies Pakistani Request to Reopen Zardari Case

Swiss authorities say they have turned down a request from Pakistan to reopen corruption charges against President Asif Ali Zardari, because they say the office of the presidency has immunity from prosecution.

Pakistan's Supreme Court this week ordered the country's top anti-corruption agency to ask Switzerland to revive the charges against Mr. Zardari, because justices overturned a controversial legal amnesty law earlier this year. That provision had given legal immunity to Mr. Zardari and thousands of other officials and politicians accused of corruption.

While the Swiss refusal to revive the corruption cases appears to spare Mr. Zardari from facing charges in Switzerland, his political allies accused of corruption are still vulnerable in Pakistani courts.

A Swiss court charged the Pakistani president and his wife, the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, with money-laundering, but Swiss officials dropped the investigation in 2008.

Mr. Zardari spent 11 years in jail in Pakistan on corruption charges, but was never convicted. He has denied any wrongdoing, and says he is protected by presidential immunity.

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