ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday sought a written reply from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the attorney general in cases pertaining to Swiss accounts with $60 million in them and the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).
A two-member bench comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah observed that after receiving a reply from both, the court could decide the maintainability of the case.
Lawyers Foundation for Justice President Feroz Shah had raised objections on maintainability of the petition.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the matter was sensitive, however, the petitioner has to satisfy the court whether the case could be re-opened under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution of Pakistan after release.
Farooq H Naek, counsel for former president Asif Ali Zardari, pleaded that his client spent eight years behind bars and acquitted after a long trial but these cases yet following him.
Meanwhile, Justice Ahsan asked the additional attorney general to convince the court to accept the petition.
At this, the AAG pleaded that the money stashed in Swiss accounts by Zardari belonged to Pakistan and it should be recovered.
Justice Ahsan inquired whether he had any evidence that the money was stolen, to this he said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman’s defence counsel maintained that their client had been acquitted in cases pertaining to money stashed in Swiss accounts.
“It is clear that $60 million were stashed in Swiss accounts but remains unclear how the money was acquired, where it went and who was the beneficiary of it,” he added.
Subsequently, the bench, while directing the petitioners to submit their written reply on the matter, adjourned further hearing of the case for three weeks.
The bench also ordered to keep confidential asset details submitted by the former presidents and Malik Qayyum until the petition was admitted for hearing and ensured that decision would be taken as per the law and the Constitution of Pakistan.
It is worth mentioning here that the controversial ordinance, issued by General (r) Pervez Musharraf granted amnesty to politicians, political workers and bureaucrats accused of corruption and terrorism between January 1, 1986, and October 12, 1999, was declared unconstitutional by SC in December 2009.