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Appeal filed in Pak SC against Gilani's contempt charge

Islamabad, Wed, 08 Feb 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Feb 8 (ANI): An intra-court appeal requesting the Pakistan Supreme Court to suspend its decision to frame contempt charges against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, was filed on Wednesday.


On February 2, the apex court had issued summons for the premier for February 13 for him to be indicted for contempt over his refusal to pursue corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.


The announcement escalated pressure on the embattled prime minister, threatening to plunge his weak government deeper into crisis and force early elections within months.


The appeal, filed by Gilani's counsel Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, requested the court to postpone the indictment.


It said that the ruling was given without the premier being given an opportunity to defend himself directly.


Ahsan said he based the appeal on precedents set by top courts in Australia, Britain, France, India and the United States.


"I have filed an appeal today. I have quoted more than 50 national and international cases and given specific reasons against the Supreme Court order," Ahsan said.


A court official confirmed that the appeal had been received.


If convicted of contempt, Gilani could be jailed for up to six months and disqualified from holding public office.


Called for an early hearing of the appeal, Ahsan said: "It depends on the court to stay the proceedings and decide against summoning the prime minister on February 13." (ANI)


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