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Pakistan PM to appear in court for contempt verdict

04-26-2012 14:14 BJT

ISLAMABAD, April 26 (Xinhua)-- Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani will appear in the Supreme Court later on Thursday, two days after the apex court summoned him for the announcement of verdict in a contempt of court case against him.

Prime Minister Gilani has been formally charged over his failure to accept the apex court's orders to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The court last week reserved judgment after months of hearing and had fixed Thursday to give its judgment.

The prime minister has appeared two times before the court and will appear again on Thursday. "I will present myself before the Supreme Court on Thursday," Gilani told cabinet ministers in Islamabad on Wednesday.

A security blanket has been put in place around the Supreme court building ahead of the appearance of the beleaguered prime minister.

Officials said that the prime minister will be accompanied by cabinet minister, political leaders of his party and allied groups and members of the parliament.

Thousands of paramilitary troops and additional police troops have been deployed outside the Supreme Court building and the roads leading to the court.

No person is allowed to enter the court building without special process.

The Supreme Court had issued repeated orders to the government to write to the Swiss authorities to revive cases of alleged money laundering against the president in Switzerland.

Gilani during his previous appearance defended his decision not to write to Swiss officials, saying that the president enjoys immunity in Pakistan and abroad as head of state.

Contempt to judiciary in Pakistan carries a six-month jail term.

Legal experts said that Gilani could lose his parliament seat if proved guilty of contempt of court. They also argue that he could also be disqualified for holding any public office for at least five years.

Attorney General Altaf Qadir told reporters outside the court that he is hopeful that the Supreme Court will not deliver such order which can derail democracy and destabilize the system.

He insisted that there are no evidences to substantiate that the prime minister has committed contempt of court.

He opined that the government is not bound to accept the verdict if it comes against the prime minister.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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