Oct 17, 2007

Carla Del Ponte: Brave Woman who froze Benazir's Swiss Accounts

Carla Del Ponte, a brave woman, who said, ""I have never served anyone or anything but the law."

Sicilian mobsters call her "La Puttana - the whore". Milosevic terms her "the new Gestapo". She is a brave woman who gave up her private legal practice in Switzerland to become a servant of the state.

Since September 1999, the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has been the Swiss lawyer Carla Del Ponte.

She produced evidence (read her interview) for the money laundering charges against Benazir Bhutto . Read more

Sept, 1998: The Swiss indictment of Benazir Bhutto accuses her of having had access to money obtained through kickbacks and commissions paid by companies which had contracts with the Pakistani Government. (Read more)

July 2003: Investigations found several numbered accounts in Switzerland in which more than $11m had been deposited.

Ms Bhutto and husband Asif Zardari each received six-month suspended jail terms and $50,000 fines.

The original Swiss ruling ordered Ms Bhutto to return nearly $12m and a diamond necklace worth $188,000 to Pakistan.

BENAZIR BHUTTO (from BBC June 2004)
1953 - born in Sindh
1979 - father executed
1990/96 - dismissed as prime minister
1999 - convicted for not appearing in court
2002 - barred from standing in general elections
2003 - found guilty of money laundering by Swiss judge

The Swiss magistrate issued a summons for her husband, her co-accused.
Mr Zardari was then serving a jail term in Pakistan for corruption.

He refused a Pakistani government offer to allow him to go to Switzerland to defend himself, saying he was too ill to travel.

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