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Pakistan Supreme Court to indict Prime Minister Gilani

Pakistan's Supreme Court will charge Prime Minister Gilani with contempt on Feb. 13.

Pakistan pm gilani supreme courtEnlarge
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (C) arrives at the Supreme Court in Islamabad on January 19, 2012. (AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan’s Supreme Court said on Thursday it would charge Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani with contempt of court, CNN reported.

Pakistan’s highest court summoned Gilani on this charge after he refused to investigate President Asif Ali Zardari for suspected corruption. But Gilani says he won’t do so because the president is immune from prosecution, CNN reported. The court has demanded he write a letter to Swiss authorities requesting the case be reopened, which dates back to the 1990s.

Read more at GlobalPost: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani appears before Supreme Court

Gilani is required to appear in court on Feb. 13 and if he is found guilty he could face up to six months in prison and being forced from office, the BBC reported. However, his lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan said the prime minister would keep his job unless electoral officials disqualified him, CNN reported. On Thursday he said he would honor his summons and appear in court on the specified date.

If Gilani is forced from office it could jeopardize the ruling Pakistan People’s Party’s hold on the government and cause further tension with the United States, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Gilani was ordered to appear in court on Jan. 19 for refusing to reopen the case. But his lawyer Ahsan argued that Gilani shouldn’t be held in contempt since his lawyers advised him not to send the letter, the Associated Press reported.

Read more at GlobalPost: Pakistan government teeters as prime minister heads to court

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/120202/pakistan-supreme-court-indict-PM-gilani