Islamabad: The Swiss government has officially informed Pakistan that it cannot revive cases of alleged money laundering against President Asif Ali Zardari as the matter is time-barred, Law Minister Zahid Hamid has said.

The Swiss government conveyed its position in a letter sent to Islamabad in February, when the previous Pakistan People's Party-led government was in power.

However, the letter was opened on Tuesday by Law Minister Hamid. The cases against Zardari, his slain wife Benazir Bhutto and several others were closed as part of a secret agreement between the PPP and former dictator Pervez Musharraf, who issued a grant of amnesty in 2008.

Following pressure from the Supreme Court, the PPP-led government wrote to Swiss authorities to reopen the cases but pointed out the move should not affect the immunity granted to the President by the Constitution.

“The Public Ministry of Geneva has decided not to review the closure order dated August 25, 2008 on the ground that the statutory limitation period of 15 years has expired", an official statement from the Law Ministry said.

The Law Ministry has decided to examine the Swiss government's response.

Zardari had been accused of laundering USD 60 million through Swiss banks.

The Law Ministry's statement said relevant files related to the case were "presently not traceable in the Law and Justice Division". The Ministry has requested Pakistani Ambassador in Switzerland to send copies of all correspondence available with him.


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