Islamabad, April 25: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Wednesday said he would appear before Pakistan’s Supreme Court Thursday for sentencing in a contempt of court case that could decide his fate.
“I will appear before the Supreme Court tomorrow (Thursday),” said Gilani while addressing a meeting of his cabinet.
The government has always respected the judiciary and acted on its orders and will continue to do so, Online news agency quoted him as saying.
A seven-judge bench headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk Tuesday reserved its judgment in the contempt case against Gilani for failing to act on the court’s directives to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
Gilani could face a six-month prison term and disqualification if he is convicted.
Gilani has refused to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen a corruption case against Zardari, arguing that the president enjoys immunity under the Pakistani constitution.
Accused of graft, Zardari had been granted amnesty under the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) in 2007 by then president Pervez Musharraf to facilitate his return home and, primarily that of his wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
The NRO that granted immunity to politicians and bureaucrats in corruption cases was struck down as void in 2009.
The apex court warned the government of action if its ruling on the NRO was not implemented by Jan 10, 2012. It also ordered the government to write a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen cases against Zardari.
On Jan 16, the court issued Gilani a contempt notice for not acting against Zardari.