Gilani contempt: Court summons top official

February 28th, 2012 - 1:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, Feb 28 (IANS) A top Pakistani official was Tuesday summoned by the Supreme Court which was hearing Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s contempt of court case for refusing to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

A seven-member bench, headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, resumed hearing the contempt of court case and summoned Nargis Sethi, secretary defence and cabinet division, as a witness, reported Geo News.

Gilani’s counsel Aitzaz Ahsan said the prime minister never intended to act in contempt of court. He added that he was bound to act on the Law Ministry’s advice.

The hearing was adjourned till March 7.

The apex court had issued Gilani a contempt notice Jan 16.

Gilani had appeared before the Supreme Court Jan 19 in the contempt case for not acting against Zardari for corruption and defended his move, saying that the constitution provided immunity to the president.

The apex court had warned the government of action if its ruling on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), which granted immunity to politicians and bureaucrats in corruption cases, was not implemented by Jan 10, 2012.

The court had also sought reopening of cases closed under the NRO, struck down as void in 2009. It had ordered the government to write a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen cases against the president.

Zardari, accused of graft, had been granted amnesty under the NRO which was issued in 2007 by then president Pervez Musharraf to facilitate the return of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband Zardari.

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