THERE are no legal surprises in the conviction of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto and husband Asif Zardari for corruption by the Lahore high court, a sentence which carries a five-year prison term, a joint fine of US$ 8.6 million and disqualification from parliament
Evidence of US$ 8.6 million in kickbacks to Benazir and Zardari for granting pre-inspection customs rights to two Swiss companies during Benazir’s tenure as premier was proffered by the Swiss authorities who have already indicted three Swiss nationals for corruption in the same case.
Nor is it true, as Benazir has alleged, that Justice Abdul Qayyum, one of the two judges on the bench, was historically "biased" because "his brother is a Muslim League legislator and his father was on the bench which sentenced Mr Z.A. Bhutto to death".
Benazir didn’t make these allegations when the supreme court established the bench. She didn’t raise objections during the first nine months of the trial. She clutched at them at the fag end when cast-iron proof of...