President Asif Ali Zardari. The Swiss Attorney General said it is a big problem because under the International Law which is also applicable to Switzerland, the Head of State, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister enjoy absolute immunity on reopening of cases.
To a question by the interviewer about reopening of cases if submitted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the Attorney General of Geneva said “ if an application to reopen the cases in Swiss courts was submitted through Pakistan’s Embassy it would be returned,” since the Head of the State enjoys absolute immunity according to International Law.
Daniel Zappelli, the Attorney General of Geneva,said that he had received a three- page fax from Pakistan which he believed was an incomplete application.
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“But it is difficult to say because practically documents like these are exchanged between governments through embassies and which carry official seal”, he said.
Zappelli was again asked whether he had received any request or document from Pakistan government for reopening of cases against Asif Ali Zardari, to which he said he had received a three-page fax based on the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in which it was stated that the case be reopened.
When asked whether any department was mentioned in the application, the Attorney General of Geneva said it had mentioned the name of the National Accountability Bureau.
The Attorney General said he would like to reply to a letter from any official agency or the government having relevant annexure.
Without annexure with the letter, it would be difficult to respond to that type of document, he said.
Responding to a question, the Attorney General of Geneva said, “These cases should be tried in the Lahore High Court if the Supreme Court of Pakistan declares non-availability of immunity to the President.”
“If money laundering cases could not be proved in the courts of Pakistan, how could we do it?,” asked Danniel Zappelli while replying to a question.
The Attorney General of Geneva said he could not confirm when asked about the laundering of US $ 60 million in Swiss Banks.
If these were cases of corruption or kickback where is a person who had given that money in bribe, Danniel Zappelli asked.
If a Pakistani citizen commits a crime, it should be first proven in a Pakistani court, he said.
He further stated that Pakistan would have to provide evidence that a crime had indeed been committed.
Pakistan’s government had remained silent for a period of eleven years, the Attorney General said.
Giving details about the closure of cases in Swiss courts, he said “we received an application by the government of Pakistan through its Embassy to close cases in Swiss courts on June 4, 2008.”