Pakistani court quashes Interpol notices against Bhutto

A Pakistani high court ordered the government to withdraw "red notices" issued by Interpol at its request against former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, court officials and her lawyer said.

 Pakistani court quashes Interpol notices against Bhutto

A Pakistani high court on Tuesday ordered the government to withdraw "red notices" issued by Interpol at its request against former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, court officials and her lawyer said.

The international notices were sought by the government in late 2005 after an anti-corruption court asked that they be issued to bring Bhutto back to Pakistan to face trial.

The court had moved against Bhutto in a case in which she was accused by the government of concealing her assets and providing wrong information to the election authorities.

The Interpol issued "red notices" in January 2006 but no follow up action was taken against Bhutto who has lived in exile since 1998, shuttling between London and Dubai.

Interpol said at the time the notices were not arrest warrants and member countries would decide whether to take any action.

Bhutto, 54, is leader of the country's mainstream Pakistan People's Party and led the country twice in the 1980s and 1990s. She had branded the government action as politically motivated.

"During the hearing the allegations against her turned out to be false and the court has now quashed the Interpol warrants," Bhutto's lawyer Farooq Naik told AFP.

A court official confirmed the Interpol notices were declared "null and void".

The development follows a recent meeting between the country's military ruler Pervez Musharraf and Bhutto in Abu Dhabi to strike a power-sharing deal but the negotiation have apparently stalled.

Bhutto says Musharraf, who grabbed power in a military coup in October 1999, must shed his military uniform before any understanding could be reached with him.

A senior interior ministry official in Islamabad said the government would notify Interpol of the cancellation of the red notices once it received the court's orders.

AFP

Last Mod: 07 Ağustos 2007, 19:25
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