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Pakistan Prime Minister's appeal rejected by supreme court

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is being tried on corruption charges and is accused of not properly pursuing an investigation into former prime minister Asif Zardari.

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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 on Friday rejected an appeal by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who is on trial for corruption. Gilani is being tried because he allegedly failed to pursue a corruption investigation into former prime minister Asif Zardari, the New York Times reported

If Gilani is convicted on corruption charges in the trial that starts Monday, he will be subject to six months in prison. He will also be barred from holding office.

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The Daily Telegraph reported that the corruption charges have pushed Gilani's government "to the brink," and "have reduced the chances that this civilian government will become the first ever to avoid collapse or coup and complete a full term in office." The Pakistan News said the supreme court ruled "without showing any flexibility."

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Fears are high that Pakistan's military could overrun the civilian government. The Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan's powerful spy agency, was also called on by the court to produce terror suspects who have been in detention since 2010, but the justices were unable to leverage the head to appear. The New York Times reported that the ISI's lawyer asked for more time, and the chief justice said, "We are not willing to entertain a single submission." When the lawyer said it may not be possible to get them there on such short notice, the chief justice said, "use a helicopter."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/120210/pakistan-prime-minister-appeal-rejected-supreme-c