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.

PTI



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

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