Zardari has immunity: Pakistani PM's lawyer

Zardari has immunity: Pakistani PM's lawyer

 Asif Ali Zardari has immunity from prosecution, says the lawyer of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who has been issued a contempt notice by the Supreme Court for not implementing a directive to act against the president for corruption.

Gilani's lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan said that the president has immunity from prosecution even in Swiss courts, Dawn reported.

Zardari enjoyed immunity while in office under the Vienna Convention, he added.
He said that the cases against Zardari were in the nature of criminal cases in which case no proceedings could be initiated against him while he was in office.

On Monday, a seven-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk issued a contempt notice against Gilani and directed him to to personally appear before it Thursday.

Zardari, accused of graft, had been granted amnesty under the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), which was issued in 2007 by then president Pervez Musharraf to facilitate the return of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband Zardari. The Supreme Court struck down the NRO in 2009.

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