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Pakistan Top Court Rejects Gilani Appeal on Contempt Order

The Pakistan Supreme Court rejected Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s appeal against a contempt of court order in a case that may force him from office.

“The prime minister now will appear before the court on Feb. 13 when the contempt of court charges will be framed against him,” Gilani’s lawyer, Aitzaz Ahsan, told reporters in Islamabad after the decision. The rulings relate to Gilani’s failure to pursue corruption cases against the president, Asif Ali Zardari.

Ahsan had argued that the constitution granted Zardari immunity in criminal cases and Gilani could not be held in contempt. Gilani’s team and the Supreme Court have disputed whether the court can remove the prime minister from office.

The court last month said Gilani violated his oath of office by ignoring its order to re-open graft probes against Zardari which former military ruler Pervez Musharraf suspended in 2007.

A judge in Geneva charged Zardari and Bhutto in 2004 with accepting bribes to award contracts to companies, including SGS Societe Generale de Surveillance Holding SA, the Swiss newspaper Le Temps reported at the time.

Zardari has denied all charges against him and has never been found guilty by a court.

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