PM contempt: Ahsan presents UN report supporting presidential immunity

Published: April 19, 2012

Ahsan says he will try to complete his arguments on Article 10-A of the Constitution, today. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan resumed the contempt case hearing against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday.

The premier’s counsel, Aitzaz Ahsan presented the United Nations’ report titled “Preliminary report on immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction” to support his argument on presidential immunity.

Ahsan said that he will try to complete his arguments on Article 10-A of the Constitution by today.

Speaking before a seven-member bench headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, Ahsan cited international laws of presidential immunity. He cited one incident when Belgium had issued arrest warrants for Congo’s foreign minister and the government of Congo had refused to present him before the Belgian magistrate.

Ahsan said that not only the president, but the foreign minister also enjoyed immunity.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa observed that once an international magistrate had summoned the Sudanese president and issued arrest warrants for him.

In his defense, Ahsan said that this was an exception and in cases of war crimes, presidents can be summoned by international courts.

Reader Comments (32)

  • Maher
    Apr 19, 2012 - 10:45AM

    Aitzaz have lost his dignity… Their was a time when he was a hero and now we have NO RESPECT for him….

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  • Syed Farrukh Hussain Shah
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:31AM

    He was never respected, he is from same corrupt and saleable political class…

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  • sial
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:37AM

    please keep that in mind he, mr, aitzaz is a lawyer and mr,zardari is his client he had payed for this case and when ever a barrister is payed he is bound to defend his client. As mr. aitzaz is doing
    its all about money for these lawyers and mr, aitzaz is the best amongst them

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  • Malik Liaquat Hussain
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:40AM

    How this man changes himself for personal gain?

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  • khurram Mansoor
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:42AM

    @Maher

    this is what you are saying, but believe me there are thousands of PPP supporters who love hime now.

    This is our tragedy.

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  • Khalid Javed
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:45AM

    AA’s undue pursuit of personal aggrandizement agenda has shocked the people who admired him during the Judiciary Restoration Movement by his decision to side with the PPPP government mired in corruption charges,

    He may not be able to persuade masses of the presumed incapability of the bench, but he is certainly throwing himself further downward & adding up to his personal & professional repute on a daily basis.

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  • Muhammad
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:54AM

    This judiciary has been politicizedRecommend

  • Kamran
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:09PM

    Our Courts should be dissolved as they cannot upheld law. our judges are not even able to give verdict on a case which is clear that the person has done Contempt of court what ever his argument may be; he disobeyed.

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  • Muhammad Ahsan Khan
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:15PM

    “The Supreme Court of Pakistan resumed the contempt case hearing against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday.”

    Aitzaz Ahsan is talking of the immunity granted to diplomats on a foreign soil. In this case usually the diplomat is sent back to his country of origin. Is Pakistan a foreign ccountry for Mr. Gilani?

    Defending a currupt client the advocate is using currupt arguments. He is no more his old self.

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  • Not me
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:17PM

    The fact is the issue is ‘crimes” committed before the office of President was assumed. Soverign immunity is for official acts done while a person is President.

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  • Logic Europe
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:30PM

    If judges spoke like politicians in another country they will be sacked.itbisna shame that courts are stooping so low because they want revenge ,History and may be in near future their conducts will be judged grossly unprofessional

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  • Maher
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:54PM

    Aitzaz is a perfect example how power & money destroys ur image…

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  • Lalai
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:55PM

    I don’t know why Aitzaz is talking to deaf ears. The writing is on the wall. Now the case has entered the phase of EGO which is above any constitution and logic. Extremely pathetic situation.

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  • Bloch
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:56PM

    What do you think about this guy?? In lawyers movement the intelligence had traced nearly 40 million $ of funds from Indian consulate in London for Aitizaz. It isnt something new, this guy is an agent of RAW and CIA. This guy is a traitor who sold Pakistan’s secret of Indian movement in Punjab to India.

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  • Barkat
    Apr 19, 2012 - 1:16PM

    @ khurram mansoor
    Before millions of people love him
    now thousands of people

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  • Ahsan
    Apr 19, 2012 - 1:30PM

    The Devil’s Advocate

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  • Beatle
    Apr 19, 2012 - 1:52PM

    I fail to understand why people are so upset on the conduct of Aitzaz Ahsan. Even the proclaimed killers have the right to defend themselves in the court of law. This is practiced in all civilised countries and religions, including Islam. At the same time its obligatory for any lawyer to pursue his clients’ case in professional manner. This is what the gentleman is doing with dignity and honesty. Ultimately the decision lies with the bench.
    Remember he is the same guy who vigorously and successfully fought for the CJ.

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  • Freedom Seeker
    Apr 19, 2012 - 2:50PM

    He is kings man. He sold his ethics, respect and country to protect his majesty. Long Live King Zardari and Team.

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  • butt jee
    Apr 19, 2012 - 3:18PM

    Aitezaz has finally attained the highest level of moral bankruptcy. What a shame for a one time highly respected person. No regret. At least the people of Pakistan have seen the true face of this famous lawyer.

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  • Arsie
    Apr 19, 2012 - 3:30PM

    Aitzaz Ahsan would be the last person going for power & money. He’s fighting this case for his party and people should respect that. And no person in this world could question the honesty and integrity of this man. Criticism mostly comes from Pti trolls for obvious reasons.

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  • curious outsider
    Apr 19, 2012 - 3:34PM

    it’s fascinating how egger Pakistan is to give away its sovereignty to the Swiss?! you hyper react if the U.S. comes and takes care of business with UBL, (that you should have done yourselves) – but yet you all seem to line up in droves to march your own democratically elected leader to the fate of some two bit European country. If he was so bad why is the PPP so supported. I know, I know… they buy the most votes. Pakistan – you blame everyone else, but you are your own worst enemy. One glimmer of light is COAS’ comments about going for peace with India, and even taking less of a cut of your budget… but talk is cheap – let’s see some action.

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  • Ammar
    Apr 19, 2012 - 4:16PM

    @ Maher, Syed Farrukh Hussain Shah, sial, Malik Liaquat Hussain, khurram Mansoor, Khalid Javed, Kamran, Not me, Barkat, and Ahsan:

    You people just keep talking and breaking your keyboards. Millions of people still love Mr. Ahsan. Your pain and agony is understandable. So please carry on. For all sensible people, I am pasting this link:

    http://www.topstoryonline.com/pakistani-courts-media-trial-by-nadeem-saeed

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  • sial
    Apr 19, 2012 - 4:39PM

    i think he is too old now and we should understand he is playing almost his final innings,so let him aggrandize please,,,,,,,,,,,,,, its the matter of now or never for him

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  • Ammar
    Apr 19, 2012 - 4:40PM

    @ET:

    (Your comment is awaiting moderation) I am sure it wont be published like the previous ones :)

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Apr 19, 2012 - 4:58PM

    Mr. AA brought them back and now he will send them back. It is time to disqualify all those judges who are playing others game. I agree with the arguments of Mr. AA. All what we see on tv and read in some news papers through ‘For Sale Journalists and Anchorpersons’ is enough proof of total biased attitude. People must know that it takes years upon years for democracy to grow. Don’t kill it prematurely.

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  • butt jee
    Apr 19, 2012 - 5:21PM

    @curious outsider:
    Be realistic. Supreme Court is not asking to give away Pakistan’s sovereignty to Switzerland. In fact the Supreme Court is trying to get back Pakistan’s 60 million dollars laundered by the corrupt leader of the PPP Government. This huge amount belongs to the people of Pakistan and it must come back to our national kitty. In case Aitezaz Ahsan is very keen to protect his corrupt leader then he should deposit this amount out of his own pocket to Pakistan’s treasury.

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  • Logic Europe
    Apr 19, 2012 - 5:22PM

    he is hero of millions and is only telling suprem court that they are being partial and partisan

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  • Shahid
    Apr 19, 2012 - 6:34PM

    @Lalai:
    I agree with Lalai this is case of egos and not a legal one. There were 8000 NRO cases, about 4000 against MQM who helped establishment by not voting for NRO bill in parliament. No one is talking about these cases (murder and dacoity) but only one case.

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  • shazada zahid mahmoud malik loan
    Apr 19, 2012 - 7:56PM

    By citing the United Nations he thinks he can internationalise the case – how stupid can you get – there is no precedent. His client is convicted by national court what has this to do with the United Nations. He is only giving further ammunition to the Americans and other Anti-Pakistani actors around the world. Recommend

  • Huma
    Apr 20, 2012 - 12:24AM

    The saddest part is that public opinion is so short term and easily modified that in a couple of years, maybe even months people will forget what Aitzaz is dong, or he will somehow redeem himself and again he will be a respected man in society.

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  • Syed Hamid Ahmed
    Apr 20, 2012 - 2:09AM

    “His client is convicted by national court what has this to do with the United Nations.” His client being Gilani or Zardari, what national court have convicted any of two? This reflects what is called power of MISINFORMATION, Pakistani TV will lie so much that everything will “feel” like true and most of the good people who have posted negative remarks about Aitzaz, Gilani or Zardari are greatly misinformed, Zardari and Gilani were put in jails on false charges by Generals both Zia (despicable) and Musharraf, by PMl-N of Sharff’s of Lahore, supported by courts, none was convicted of any crime and this was when they were in jails, so the talk of manipulating witness/prosecution does not apply. Only one courageous person Mian Mansha of NAB (Ehtsab) had the moral courage to offer apology Victimization of PPP has to end and please verify what is being said in Geo TV etc. I used to pay to watch GeoTV once, now if someone offer me for free I wont watch it, for sheer lies. Jang used to be my favorite newspaper while in university, not anymore.

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  • Jamshed
    Apr 21, 2012 - 1:20AM

    And this man used to sing “riasat ho gee maa kay jaisee”

    I wonder what that makes him now. Shameless man.

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