Accountability court sets aside allegations of corruption dating back to 1998
An accountability court on Saturday acquitted former president Asif Ali Zardari in a major corruption case that dogged him for almost two decades, his lawyer said.
Zardari, who left office in 2013, faced corruption allegations involving Swiss banks dating back to the 1990s. He was accused along with his late wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, of laundering $12 million of illegal kickbacks.
“An accountability court today acquitted Asif Zardari in a case filed against him in 1998 accusing him of making and maintaining assets beyond his known sources of income,” said lawyer Farooq H. Naik. He said the court, which has held hearings in Lahore and Rawalpindi since 1998, recorded statements from more than 40 witnesses.
“It has now become abundantly clear that the allegations against my client were fake and there were no solid grounds for filing a baseless case against him 19 years ago,” Naik said.
Zardari has spent time behind bars on charges ranging from corruption to murder. Little-known at the time of his arranged marriage into the Bhutto dynasty in 1987, he carved out a powerful position for himself, serving as a government minister in his wife’s two administrations.