[JURIST] A Pakistani court has cleared Asif Ali Zardari [BBC profile] of charges related to his alleged involvement in the 1996 assassination of a retired judge and his son due to lack of evidence, a government prosecutor said Monday. Zardari, the new leader of the Pakistan People's Party [party website] and widower of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive], was charged in 2002.
Zardari had also been charged in several corruption cases, but courts have dropped the charges [JURIST report] and released Zardari's assets pursuant to a "reconciliation ordinance" [JURIST report] signed last October by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf [official profile; JURIST news archive]. The ordinance granted amnesty to Bhutto and Zardari for corruption charges and cleared the way for Bhutto's return to Pakistan from exile last year. AP has more.