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Pakistan's Supreme Court convicts Prime Minster of contempt

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Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (C) waves upon his arrival at the Supreme Court in Islamabad on February 13, 2012.

Pakistani Prime Minster Yousuf Raza Gilani has been convicted of contempt of court for refusing to reopen old corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

After a three-month trial, the country’s Supreme Court on Thursday found the premier guilty for failing to follow its order to write to the authorities in Switzerland and ask them to reopen graft cases against Zardari, AFP reported.

Gilani denies that he was in contempt for failing to reopen the cases due to the fact that Zardari, who also rejects the corruption charges, enjoys immunity as the country’s president.

The Supreme Court, however, spared Gilani a prison term in a case that has sparked political tensions in the country.

His lawyer says the premier would appeal the verdict, which means a further delay for any action that could see Gilani lose his job.

The Pakistani prime minister arrived at the court in the capital, Islamabad, along with members of his cabinet earlier in the day.

The embattled premier left the court while smiling and waving to his supporters.

The government alleges that the judges are attempting to bring down the president and the prime minster.


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