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Pak PM Gilani convicted of contempt, given 30 sec sentence

Islamabad , Thu, 26 Apr 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Apr 26 (ANI): The Pakistan Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday found Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani guilty of contempt of court for refusing to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, but gave him only a symbolic sentence which lasted for 30 seconds.

A seven-judge bench of the court, headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, announced the verdict.

"For reasons to be recorded later, the prime minister is found guilty of contempt for wilfully flouting the direction of the Supreme Court," The Nation quoted Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, as saying.

Gilani was convicted and sentenced under Article 63 (1) (g) of the constitution.

The PM was charged for refusing to obey an order to write to the authorities in Switzerland asking them to re-open corruption cases against President Zardari. Gilani was sentenced to be detained in the court until the hearing adjourned and shortly afterwards emerged smiling and waving to supporters.

Federal minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said a petition would be filed in the court for a review of the verdict. She said further course of action would be decided once the detailed verdict is received, The Dawn reported.

Gohar Khan, assistant to Aitzaz Ahsan, and a member of the prime minister's legal team also said a review petition would be filed.

Politicians, lawyers and journalists, both local and international were present in the court for the hearing.

Government officials and dignitaries present at the court included Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar, Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar, Presidential Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar, political secretary to the party co-chairman Rukhsana Bangash and Attorney General Irfan Qadir. (ANI)

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