‘Ready to go to prison over Zardari`s immunity’

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has been facing the Pakistani Supreme Court`s ire for failing to reopen graft cases against Zardari.

Davos: Maintaining that Pakistan President
Asif Ali Zardari enjoys complete immunity, Prime Minister
Yousuf Raza Gilani says he is ready to go to prison if the
court desires.

"That is the old case which has been pending since a long
time for which the President has already completed about eight
years in prison and now as the president of the country he has
complete immunity," Gilani said here when asked about the
charges against him.

Gilani, who is attending the World Economic Summit being
held here, said in an interview with CNN yesterday that the
Court wanted a letter sent to the Swiss courts, to "which we
said that according to the Constitution he (the president) has
a complete immunity not only inside Pakistan, but also
transnational immunity not only for the President, the Prime
Minister and even the Foreign Minister".

Asked if he expects to go to prison, Gilani said, "If the
court so desires, I have no objection".

Gilani has been facing the Pakistani Supreme Court`s ire
for failing to reopen graft cases against Zardari.

He was even forced to appear in person before the apex
court after he was issued a contempt notice.

The Supreme Court has been pressuring the Pakistan
People`s Party-led government to reopen the cases against the
President in Switzerland since it struck down a graft amnesty
that benefited Zardari and over 8,000 others in December 2009.

It has declared that the National Reconciliation
Ordinance, the graft amnesty issued by former military ruler
Pervez Musharraf in 2007, was unconstitutional and illegal.
Meanwhile, Gilani also said Musharraf will "certainly" be
arrested if he returns to Pakistan.

"In fact there had been murder charges against him, and
there had even been some very grave charges against him, and
the Supreme Court had already given a verdict against him,"
Gilani said.

"Certainly when he`ll come back, he has to face those
charges and certainly be arrested," he said.


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