Source AP ©

Fraud case against Bhutto dropped in Spain

An investigation into laundering by former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was shelved in Spain, officials said Monday.

Bhutto, her husband Asif Ali Zardari and several others were investigated after suspicions were raised by foreign currency operations at a bank in the eastern Spanish town of Onteniente and the purchase of a house in Spain.

But Joaquin Banos, spokesman for the prosecutor's office at the Superior Court in the eastern region of Valencia, said prosecutors were unable to find sufficient evidence of wrongdoing during more than two years of investigations.

Banos said the case became unsustainable after the Pakistani government of President Pervez Musharraf, which took part in the prosecution, decided not to proceed with it earlier this year.

Bhutto has also been under investigation for corruption and money laundering in Pakistan and Switzerland.

The two-time prime minister returned to Pakistan in October after eight years in exile following negotiations with Musharraf. She plans to run in parliamentary elections slated for January.

Bhutto was the first female premier in the Muslim world but her governments collapsed in 1990 and 1996 over corruption allegations.