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Pak SC adjourns contempt hearing against Gilani

Source: PTI
February 22, 2012 14:21 IST
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Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the contempt of court case against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani till February 28 after admitting evidence and recording the statement of the prosecutor.

A seven-judge bench headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk recorded the statement of Attorney General Anwar-ul-Haq, who has been asked to act as prosecutor for the proceedings against Gilani.

Haq presented evidence against the premier, including the apex court's orders to implement a direction that struck down a graft amnesty which benefited President Asif Ali Zardari.

Haq presented several documents, including the primary verdict that annulled the National Reconciliation Ordinance, a graft amnesty issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, and the apex court's order dismissing a review petition filed by the federal government.

The Supreme Court recently rejected Gilani's appeal and indicted him for contempt of court.

The court initiated proceedings against the premier after he refused to act on orders to reopen cases of alleged money laundering against Zardari in Switzerland.

The apex court has been pressuring the government to revive the cases against Zardari since December 2009, when it struck down the National Reconciliation Ordinance.

The government has refused to act, saying the President enjoys complete immunity from prosecution within Pakistan and abroad.

During Wednesday's proceedings, the court rejected a petition which had challenged the appointment of the attorney general as the prosecutor in the case against the premier.

The bench observed that if the attorney general did not function properly, he could be replaced.

The attorney general said he reserved the right to produce more evidence once the premier records his statement.

Gilani's lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan said the defence has the right to object to such evidence.

On being asked by the bench about the mode of the trial, Ahsan said he would consult his client and respond by February 27.

Ahsan said he would submit a list of witnesses and their statements on the same day.

The court then adjourned the case till February 28.

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