UK & World News
Pakistan's PM Found Guilty Of Contempt
Pakistan's prime minister Yousef Raza Gilani has been found guilty of contempt of court, state television has reported.
The PM was charged for refusing to obey an order to write to the authorities in Switzerland to ask them to re-open corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
After convicting Gilani, the judge gave him a symbolic sentence of a few minutes' detention in the courtroom, sparing him from serving time in prison.
But the fact that the politician has been found guilty means he could face disqualification in the weeks or months to come.
The case against Gilani dates back to an amnesty - known as the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) - which was put in place in 2007 by then-president General Pervez Musharraf at the end of his military rule.
The NRO was designed to enable Benazir Bhutto to return to Pakistan from exile to contest democratic elections in 2008 without the fear of prosecution for alleged corruption.
The amnesty also gave her husband Mr Zardari protection from the same charges of money laundering using Swiss bank accounts.
He became president on a wave of public sympathy following the assassination of his wife, as she campaigned before the vote in December 2007.
But in 2009 the supreme court overturned NRO on the grounds that it was unconstitutional.
According to the country's top judges it meant the old cases against Mr Zardari had to be re-opened, and as prime minister, it was Gilani's duty to enforce the supreme court's decision.
However, having failed to do so, Gilani was indicted for contempt of court.
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what do you think?
On first seeing the healdine 'PM Guilty of Contempt', I thought justice had caught up with Blair, Brown or Cameron, but sadly no. It is someone in a far-off land of which we know little and care even less!
They are , I think, some very brave people there. In Pakistan these days, people who speak out (espouse ?) any moderate or really democratic views in politics are very quickly killed. Charges for, real or imaginary, Corruption/treason seem to be a way of life for those contesting power.
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Most politicians are contemptible anyway.