Oct 19, 2007

Benazir Bhutto's Swiss Case: New Development

Sept 1998: Benazir Bhutto charged in Switzerland for money laundering allegation having access to the money obtained by kickbacks and commission paid by companies which had contracts with the Pakistani Government. (Swiss Indictment)

July 2003: Benazir Bhutto found guilty and received 5 year suspended jail term and $50,000 fine. (Swiss conviction). She and her husband Asif A Zardari was ordered to return $13 million.

Benazir Appeals the decision.

Oct 2007: Judge Vincent Fournier submits his confidential finding to Geneva Chief prosecuter Daniel Zappelli about money laundering allegation of Benazir Bhutto. After amnesty given by President General Musharraf to Benazir Bhutto from corruption charges at home it would be hard to prove the money laundering allegation under Swiss law. Pakistani government has withdrawn their own prosecutor.

Geneva Chief Prosecutor now has 3 options:
1. Bring the case to trial.
2. Suspend it.
3. Dismiss it.

At least $13 million remains frozen in bank accounts in the Swiss city in connection with the criminal case, which relates to alleged kickbacks from Swiss cargo inspection companies in the 1990s. (Read here)

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