Contempt case: Pak SC verdict due on Apr 26

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 16:22

Islamabad: Pakistan`s Supreme Court will announce on Thursday its verdict in a contempt of court case against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for failing to act on its directives to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

A seven-judge bench headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk today reserved its judgement in the case after the completion of arguments by the defence and the prosecution. Gilani could face a six-month prison term and disqualification if he is convicted.

Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk asked Gilani`s counsel, Aitzaz Ahsan, to ensure that the premier is present in court when the verdict is announced on Thursday.

"The court will announce its judgement in the case on Thursday," Ahsan told reporters outside the court.

Asked if the premier would appear in court, Ahsan said: "I will inform him about it today and he will Inshallah come to the court."

Ahsan contended that the maximum punishment that Gilani could face, if convicted, was six months in prison.

The Supreme Court has been pressuring the government to revive cases of alleged money laundering against Zardari in Switzerland since December 2009, when it struck down a graft amnesty issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

Gilani has refused to act, saying the President enjoys immunity within Pakistan and abroad.

Gilani had appeared in the apex court twice before and had decided to fight the case.

Even after he was formally charged with contempt of court on February 13, Gilani insisted that he would rather be jailed than approach the Swiss authorities to reopen the cases against the president.

The premier has said throughout the proceedings in the apex court that he had done nothing against the government`s rules of business.


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First Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 16:22

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