Pak court issues NBW against Bhutto, Zardari
It is the second time the same court has issued arrest warrant against Benazir and her spouse in less than two months.india Updated: Jul 18, 2006 15:47 IST
A Pakistani court on Tuesday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for exiled Pakistani former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband Asif Ali Zardari for "false declaration of assets" to the Pakistani Election Commission, officials said.
It is the second time the same court has issued arrest warrant for Benazir and her spouse in less than two months.
All Pakistani parliamentarians are bound to submit statements of their assets to the Election Commission.
The state-run National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed a case against the former ruling couple in a local court that Benazir and her husband had filed false statement in 1996, according to an official statement.
Judge Rafi-uz-Zaman of Islamabad District and Sessions Court issued arrest warrants for the two in their absence.
The court directed the Pakistani interior ministry to contact International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) for the arrest of Bhutto and her husband.
The judge ordered that they must be produced in the court on September 7, 2006.
The statement from the NAB said, "it is alleged in the complaint filed by NAB against the accused that they have gathered immense wealth and property in foreign countries earned through illegal means and by commission of acts of corruption and corrupt practices".
"It is on account of this fact that they have suppressed the fact of ownership of these properties abroad in their declaration of assets before Election Commission of Pakistan," the statement said.
The statement added that the accused have admitted the ownership of these properties before the Swiss Court.
Bhutto has been living in exile in the United Arab Emirate, the US, and Britain.
She was elected prime minister of Pakistan in 1988, only to be deposed 20 months later by the country's military-supported president Ghulam Ishaq Khan.
She was re-elected in 1993 but was dismissed three years later amid various corruption scandals by the then president Farooq Leghari.