Swiss letter stating presidential immunity 'vindication' of stance, says sacked Gilani
Following the Pakistan government's confirmation that it has sent a letter to the Swiss authorities in compliance with the Supreme Court's order, former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani said that the move "vindicated" the stance that cost him his premiership.
"I always said that the president enjoys immunity at national and international level ... today's development vindicated my stance," The Dawn quoted Gilani, who referred to the Vienna Convention and Article 248 of Pakistan's Constitution, as saying.
"It's good that the [apex] court has accepted my standpoint," Gilani said.
The apex court had dismissed Gilani as premier on June 19, after convicting him of contempt in April for writing to Swiss authorities asking to reopen graft cases against Zardari.
Incumbent Ashraf was elected premier after Gilani's dismissal.
The allegations against Zardari date back to the 1990s, when he and his late wife, former premier Benazir Bhutto were suspected of using Swiss bank accounts to launder 12 million dollars allegedly paid in bribes by companies seeking customs inspection contracts.
The Swiss shelved the case in 2008 when Zardari became president and the government had been insisting that the president has full immunity. But in 2009 the apex court overturned the NRO ordering that the cases be reopened.