Impossible to proceed, says Swiss prosecutor

A Swiss prosecutor said on Wednesday that it would be “impossible” to reopen a money laundering case in Switzerland against President Asif Ali Zardari since he benefited from immunity as a head of state.

“If … Pakistan does not lift immunity for Zardari, I don’t see how we can do this,” Daniel Zappelli, the public prosecutor of the Swiss canton of Geneva, said.

“It they fail to lift immunity, it is impossible to proceed,” added Zappelli, who decided to close the case in Switzerland against Zardari and his late wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, in August 2008.

Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog said earlier on Wednesday that it had transmitted letters to the Geneva prosecutor and to the Swiss Federal Office of Justice, calling for the case to be reopened.

Both Zappelli and a spokesman for the Swiss Federal Office for Justice, Folco Galli, said they had yet to receive any request from Pakistan.

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