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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 16:37 GMT
Bhutto cleared in corruption case
Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto has lived abroad since 1999
A court in Pakistan has acquitted former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and four others of corruption.

The judge in Karachi said the prosecution had not proved its case.

Ms Bhutto had been accused of misuse of power over the appointment of hundreds of supporters of her party to jobs at Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

Ms Bhutto lives in self-imposed exile and was not in court. She faces more than a dozen other corruption cases relating to her time in office.

She denies any wrongdoing.

The four others acquitted, including her political secretary and the former chief of PIA, were present in court to hear the judgement.


Prosecutors registered the case following the dismissal of Ms Bhutto's government in 1997.

She was accused of causing huge loss to the public exchequer by appointing about 800 Pakistan People's Party workers to the national carrier, contrary to rules and regulations.

In his judgement, accountability court judge Parkash Lal Abwani said: "The prosecution has failed to prove its case against any of the accused."

The most serious of the corruption cases facing Ms Bhutto is being tried in Switzerland.

She and her husband, Asif Zardari, deny taking kick-backs from a Swiss firm.

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