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Gilani says he's ready to be imprisoned if SC wants

Islamabad, Sat, 28 Jan 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Jan 28 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said he is ready to go to prison if the Supreme Court wants.


This comments clearly show how far his government was prepared to go to defend President Asif Ali Zardari on the issue of immunity in Swiss cases, The Dawn reports.


On being asked what charges he faced in the court, Gilani said the charges were not against him.


"That is the old case, which has been pending for a long time for which the president has already served about eight years in prison and now as the president of the country he has complete immunity," he added.


He said 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".


When the prime minister was asked: "Do you expect to get to the prison?" he said: If the court so desires I have no objection."


Earlier this month, the Pakistan Supreme Court had adjourned Gilani's contempt of court hearing over the non-implementation of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to February 1, and exempted him from appearing at the next hearing.


Gilani appeared in the court on January 19 after being issued a showcause notice for contempt of court for his refusal to write a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.


He pointed out that Zardari enjoys constitutional immunity and the money laundering cases registered against him could only be re-opened once his presidential tenure ends.


"It will not give a good message to proceed against a president who is elected by a two-thirds majority. I have discussed this with my friends and experts, and they all agree that he has got complete immunity," Gilani added. (ANI)


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