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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Interpol issues Red Notices to former Pakistan prime minister, her spouse

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Jan 26, IRNA
Pakistan-Ex PM warrant
The international police organization, Interpol, has issued red notices of former prime minister Benazir Bbutto and her spouse Asif Ali Zardari on corruption charges, an Interpol statement said on Thursday.

Benazir Bhutto's spokesman senator Farhatullah Babar said that he has no information about the issuance of any such notice.

Ms. Bhutto and Asif Zaradari currently staying in United States and Pakistan and U.S have a bilateral extradition treaty but the extradition takes place on the consent of both countries.

Following a request from the Pakistani authorities, the Interpol General Secretariat has issued Red Notices for Benazir Bhutto and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, said the Interpol statement, a copy of which was received here.

A Red Notice is notification that a bone fide arrest warrant exists for an individual suspected of committing a crime, or convicted by a court, in any of Interpol's 184 member countries, it said.

A Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant, the statement added.

Political analysts say Pakistan had made the request for the duo's arrest for their alleged involvement in a number of corruption cases and misuse of authority.

Red Notices are only issued if the requesting Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) has provided all the information required by the General Secretariat, including details of a valid arrest warrant for the country in question, the statement said.

If extradition accord between the two countries exists, than the decision of extradition of accused could be taken with mutual consent.

Spokesman Babar said that Benazir Bhutto is not a fugitive and has gone abroad with courts permission.

He said that Benazir is still defending herself in court and had also appeared in a Swiss last year in connection with corruption charges.

Media reports suggest that Pakistani authorities informed the headquarters of Interpol's secretary general in Lyon, France that as many as 10 cases were still pending trial in Accountability Courts against Benazir and her husband.

These include one against Benazir's mother Nusrat Bhutto, who has been accused of acquiring disproportionate assets.


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