Pakistani court reopens graft cases against Zardari

Islamabad: In a setback to former President Asif Ali Zardari, a Pakistani court today reopened five anti-corruption cases against him and sought his response to the charges within two weeks.
Earlier, the cases filed against Zardari by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had been put off because of the constitutional immunity he enjoyed during his tenure as head of the state.
Taking suo moto notice of the charges, accountability or anti-corruption court judge Bashir Ahmed reopened the five cases against Zardari, the Dawn newspaper reported on its website.
The same court had earlier released the other accused in these cases.
Zardari, 58, became the first Pakistani President to complete a full five-year term in September.
Swiss authorities were recently contacted by the Pakistan government to reopen graft cases against Zardari but they said on October 8 that the time limit for doing so had passed.
In a separate development, the appointment of former Interior Secretary Qamar Zaman Chaudhry as head of the NAB has been challenged in the Supreme Court.
Lawyer Zafarullah Jamali, who filed the challenge,asked the court to strike down the appointment since Chaudhry did not fulfil the criterion for the post.
The crucial post was lying vacant since May 28 when the Supreme Court had dismissed then NAB chief, Admiral (retired) Fasih Bukhari.