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Pakistan court clears Bhutto widower of smuggling charges

[JURIST] A Pakistani court Tuesday cleared Pakistan People's Party [party website] leader Asif Ali Zardari [BBC profile] of charges that he smuggled antiquities out of the country following the ouster of his now-late wife former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto [BBC obituary] in 1997. AP has more.

In March, a Pakistani court cleared Zardari of charges [JURIST report] related to his alleged involvement in the 1996 assassination of a retired judge and his son due to lack of evidence. 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.

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