Gilani`s lawyer for summoning 3 in contempt case
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 00:57
Islamabad: A day before Pakistan's Supreme Court resumes hearing a contempt of court case against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, his lawyer on Monday moved an application seeking the summoning of three witnesses as court witnesses in the interest of a fair trial.

Aitzaz Ahsan, the counsel for Gilani, said the apex court should call former Law Minister Babar Awan, Law Secretary Masood Chishti and Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi to appear as the court's witnesses.

He also asked the court to obtain certified copies of certain documents that would be furnished as evidence in support of Gilani.

Ahsan said Gilani did not want to ask the former minister and the two secretaries to appear in court in his official capacity as this could be perceived as "exertion of undue influence".

The Supreme Court recently rejected Gilani's appeal and indicted him for contempt of court after he refused to act on orders to reopen cases of alleged money laundering against President Asif Ali Zardari in Switzerland.

However, Gilani is not required to personally appear during tomorrow's hearing.

Ahsan filed his application today under various government rules read with sections of the Criminal Procedure Code for summoning of witnesses and documents.

He further said Gilani's defence rested mainly on official government proposals presented to him last year that contained the opinions of officials on the issue of reopening the cases against the President.

Referring to the production of witnesses by the prosecution, Ahsan said that it would have been fair to the defence if it had been given an opportunity to cross-examine these witnesses.

The apex court has been pressuring the government to revive the cases against Zardari since December 2009, when it struck down the National Reconciliation Ordinance, a graft amnesty issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

The government has refused to act, saying the President enjoys complete immunity from prosecution within Pakistan and abroad.


First Published: Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 00:57

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