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Pak SC rejects Vienna Convention's use to establish Zardari's immunity

Islamabad, Thu, 19 Apr 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Apr 19(ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's lawyer has tried to Vienna Convention to establish the need for granting President Asif Ali Zardari's immunity from prosecution.

Supreme Court Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, however, said that the Vienna convention provides immunity to diplomats and consular staff, but not to presidents.

The seven -member bench, hearing the contempt case against Gilani, said a president only enjoys immunity under the Vienna Convention when he is travelling abroad.

According to the Express Tribune, Gilani' lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan had earlier stressed that Gilani cannot write the letter until Asif Ali Zardari is the incumbent president since he enjoys constitutional immunity.

Aitzaz also requested that this case be referred to a larger bench and completed his arguments on Article 10-A of the Pakistan Constitution.

The court, however, observed that the president's immunity is not relevant in this regard and has to be invoked by the president if he wishes to claim it.

Justice Nasirul Mulk said the court has only ordered the prime minister to write a letter to Swiss authorities to re-open graft cases against National Reconciliation Order (NRO) beneficiaries. (ANI)

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