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Zardari cleared in one more graft case

world Updated: Mar 12, 2008 15:02 IST

A Pakistani anti-corruption court on Wednesday cleared PPP Chairman Asif Ali Zardari in a graft case while reserving its judgment in another case till Friday.

Last week, anti-corruption courts in Rawalpindi had dropped five of the seven cases against Zardari, whose Pakistan People's party will lead a coalition government at the centre.

The decision was in line with Supreme Court's order last month upholding the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance passed in October by President Pervez Musharraf to grant amnesty in graft cases to PPP leaders, including Zardari and his slain wife Benazir Bhutto.

After the apex court upheld the NRO, the National Accountability Bureau decided to terminate several corruption cases it had pursued against Zardari for over a decade.

Zardari had spent over eight year in prison following his arrest in connection with these cases dated back to 1990's when Bhutto was the prime minister. But his lawyer had said the charges were "politically motivated and baseless".

When the remaining two cases came up for hearing today in the court of Judge Sagheer Quadri, one was quashed while a decision in the other was reserved till Friday due to a "technical hitch".

NAB prosecutors told the court that they wanted both the cases terminated but the judge pointed out that Zardari had been named a "proclaimed offender" in one case.

Zardari's counsel Farooq H Naek argued his client could not appear in court for security reasons and sought an exemption.