Islamabad: Pakistan`s main anti-corruption
watchdog is considering a proposal for filing a case of misuse
of authority against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani under
which he could face a prison term of 14 years if convicted.
The National Accountability Bureau is considering the
filing of a case in connection with the appointment by Gilani
of Adnan Khwaja as chairman of the state-run Oil and Gas
Development Company even though Khwaja had already been
convicted by court, The News daily reported.
The serious reprimand of NAB Chairman Fasih Bokhari by
the Supreme Court for his inaction in certain high-profile
illegal appointments may lead to the framing of a formal case
against Gilani, the daily quoted a source in NAB as saying.
Gilani and Khwaja had been detained in jail together
during the previous regime of President Pervez Musharraf.
The NAB had been considering the case against Gilani
after the apex court issued an order on January 10 that
criticised the government for failing to reopen high-profile
NAB Chairman Bokhari will make the "final decision
whether to continue looking the other away or to move against
the Prime Minister," The News reported.
Bokhari told the daily that action will be taken in cases
of alleged illegal appointments made on the orders of the
premier under the law and rules.
Former Establishment Secretary Ismail Qureshi, who was
recently arrested on graft charges and released on bail, has
reportedly told NAB investigators that Gilani and his
Principal Secretary Nargis Sethi were responsible for Khwaja`s
The NAB source said Gilani had violated a section of the
NAB law that carries a jail term of up to 14 years.
Gilani was jailed earlier on charges of misuse of
authority while he was Speaker of the National Assembly or
lower house of parliament during 1993-96.
The Islamabad High Court subsequently set aside Gilani?s
convictions and acquitted him of all charges.