Contempt case: SC to decide Gilani’s fate Thursday (Lead)

April 26th, 2012 - 12:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, April 26 (IANS) It was judgment day for Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Thursday with the Supreme Court expected to give its verdict in a contempt of court against him.

Surrounded by supporters, Gilani reached the Supreme Court for the crucial ruling that will determine his political future, media reports said.

A seven-judge bench headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk had Tuesday reserved its judgment in the contempt case against Gilani for failing to act on the court’s directives to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

On Wednesday, Gilani had assured his cabinet members that he “will appear before the Supreme Court”.

The government has always respected the judiciary and acted on its orders and will continue to do so, he said.

Gilani could face a six-month prison term and disqualification if he is convicted.

He has refused to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen a corruption case against Zardari, arguing that the president enjoys immunity under the Pakistani constitution.

Accused of graft, Zardari had been granted amnesty under the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) in 2007 by then president Pervez Musharraf to facilitate his return home and, primarily that of his wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The NRO that granted immunity to politicians and bureaucrats in corruption cases was struck down as void in 2009.

The apex court warned the government of action if its ruling on the NRO was not implemented by Jan 10, 2012. It also ordered the government to write a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen cases against Zardari.

On Jan 16, the court issued Gilani a contempt notice for not acting against Zardari.

Gilani was indicted for contempt of court Feb 13.

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