Gilani to appeal contempt conviction: Aitzaz Ahsan

Published: April 26, 2012

Aitzaz Ahsan says Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani will appeal against the contempt conviction. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani will appeal against a contempt conviction for defying a Supreme Court order to re-open corruption cases against the president, his lawyer said on Thursday.    

“This will be subject to the appeal, which we will file,” lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan told a news conference.

Explaining the three types of contempt offences, namely civil, criminal and judicial, Aitzaz told the media that his client was framed for one charge but was punished for the other two. “The charge was of disregarding the court, but the prime minister was sentenced for scandalising the court.”

He added that the court mentioned prime minister’s Bahawalpur address where he allegedly defamed the court, but that happened after the court had indicted him on February 13, 2012. “The clock stopped there… Anything stated by the prime minister thereafter was not relevant to the trial. If the prime minister had impeached any law then a fresh new trial was called for.”

“The implications are that if he is alleged to have scandalised the court – for which he was never charged – he can be disqualified. The prime minister can be disqualified as a member of the National Assembly… But this is not the charge,” he added.

Aitzaz added that the court has no right to read out the decision to the accused as the decision is always handed over in a written form.

He further said that the prime minister is not disqualified till the speaker of the national assembly decides it according to the given procedure within 30 days. “According to the Constitution, there is no automatic and immediate disqualification.”

“Since there is no charge mentioned in the charge sheet against the prime minister, the speaker would have to be convinced by legal experts whether or not a reference could be sent against the premier,” he said.

“Speaker might seek guidance from amicus curies as this is the verdict of the highest court of the country and therefore should be taken seriously,” he added.

Aitzaz expressed his gratitude to the court for awarding minimum punishment to the prime minister and said that even if the premier was handed down imprisonment for six months, he would have accepted the court verdict humbly.

“The prime minister was ready to go to Adiala Jail and he had even brought necessary luggage along with him,” he asserted.

Accompanied by the lawyer, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said that prime minister is the one who strengthened the parliament.

He said that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has always paid respect to the judiciary and would continue to do the same.

Gilani was convicted of contempt of court by the Supreme Court of Pakistan but given only a token sentence in a case that could still see him thrown out of office.

The Supreme Court found the prime minister guilty of contempt over his refusal to obey an order to write to the authorities in Switzerland to ask them to re-open corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

Gilani had faced a maximum sentence of six months in prison, but the court ordered him to be “imprisoned” until the hearing adjourned and he emerged shortly afterwards smiling and waving to supporters.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • Much Amused
    Apr 26, 2012 - 2:51PM

    Gilani to appeal? Noora kushti round 2.

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  • Bookie
    Apr 26, 2012 - 2:52PM

    what a hypocrite he is. he was once part of restoring judiciary!

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  • Naeem
    Apr 26, 2012 - 3:16PM

    Oh please stop fooling the nation and answer these questions
    1. Zaradari has money in Swiss banks? Yes or No?
    2. If ‘Yes’ where the money come from and why in Swiss banks and not in Pakistani bank?
    3. If ‘No’ write the letter to Swiss and get your name cleared.
    4. If ‘Yes’ where did the money come from?
    5. If ‘Yes’ did you pay any tax on it?

    The nation is not interested in waste of time contempt cases. Also Aitizaz Ahsan, you have lost a lot respect!

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  • khan
    Apr 26, 2012 - 3:21PM

    The court has given it,s verdict.Now grace and morality has come into play.

    ” ——— and the graces, my friend, have abandoned the earth. men,s judicial oaths are no longer to be trusted. the race of pious men have perished and man no longer recognize the rules of conduct or piety “

    " Theognis of Megara, 6th century BC Greek poet "
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  • gulab khan
    Apr 26, 2012 - 3:22PM

    Mr Aitzaz Ahsan,

    You have already received your fee in from of senate ticket. What other benefits are you getting in this package to serve the most corrupted leadership in the history of Pakistan

    Gulab Nisatwal

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  • LAW prevails
    Apr 26, 2012 - 3:29PM

    Prime minister should resign

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  • Apr 26, 2012 - 3:32PM

    Only if Aitzaz Ahsan joins PML-N/PTI he’ll hold the record for fastest journey from “a man of compromises” to “a man of principles”.

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  • u liar
    Apr 26, 2012 - 3:37PM

    The Full Bench of the Supreme court will free the prime minister of the contempt of court charges. It would have been better for the court if it had decided about the issue of presidential immunity first. I dont understand where to approach when the superior court of the country so blatantly violate the constitution by revoking presidential immunity enshrined in very simple and clear words therein.

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  • geeko
    Apr 26, 2012 - 4:24PM

    Aitzaz Ahsan lost all credibility.

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  • Amjad
    Apr 26, 2012 - 4:25PM

    another black day in our judicial history

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  • elcay
    Apr 26, 2012 - 5:19PM

    @ Bookie, PM was never for restoring judiciary. He was copmpelled to do so as the army had refused to stop the long march of NS.Recommend

  • Apr 26, 2012 - 5:26PM

    A great decision by Supreme court

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  • Nadeem Zafar
    Apr 26, 2012 - 5:40PM

    Supreme Court is playing in the hands of establishment. This is why people like Ali Ahmed Kurd and Aitzaz Ahsan had stood for the government..which is elected by people. The only way to change government in a democracy is through elections. We will have to believe in the process..if we want it. Recommend

  • smj
    Apr 26, 2012 - 6:14PM

    nice to know a common man get years of sentences and a PM gets only for a few minutes.
    Thank you Blind Justice

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  • ahme
    Apr 26, 2012 - 6:18PM

    please do’t waste your time as these biased judges will not listen to your arguments….. shame on this judiciary…….

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  • Mehreen
    Apr 26, 2012 - 6:20PM

    @ Nadeem Zafar
    well said..

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  • zafar
    Apr 26, 2012 - 6:23PM

    They are all making us fool, either Aitzaz, or PM in PPP, or PML (N), one party will leave and the other will appear, what a helplessness for this nation. No rank and file has any interest in this contempt case. Our masses have got different issues, nobody is paying attention to them. Everybody is interested to play!!!

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  • Mirza Zulfiqar Baig
    Apr 26, 2012 - 6:44PM

    Aitzaz Sb., please do not waste your and nations time.

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  • Mirza Zulfiqar Baig
    Apr 26, 2012 - 6:46PM

    After PM conviction, seems like Pakistan is being secured from corrupt leaders.

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  • Apr 26, 2012 - 7:00PM

    Aitzaz said in one talk show, if PM get prisoned for 6months he will be able to carry on his duties in jail, according to some article, SC gave him a slap, they punished PM for 30sec. now he is a prisoned PM and prisoned PM can not be a MNA. now he have to resign. Aitzaz losed case strong text

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  • Farhan Khan
    Apr 26, 2012 - 7:27PM

    Mr. Aitzaz, You are my Hero. And you will always be.

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  • ali
    Apr 26, 2012 - 7:53PM

    AA has disappointed the nation.

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  • sick of this nonsense
    Apr 26, 2012 - 8:10PM

    AA is a lawyer whose job is to protect his client. Kindly dont make it a hate forum for a very respected lawyer of our country.

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  • Maryam
    Apr 26, 2012 - 8:45PM

    I am not a PPP supporter but let me say that today is another Blak Day in the history of Pakistan’s Judiciary by targeting PPP only. This is just another example of selective justice and selective justice is no Justice.

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  • Ali
    Apr 26, 2012 - 8:47PM

    You sir, have lost all your respect.

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  • Nazia Imran
    Apr 26, 2012 - 10:04PM

    SC gave a clever verdict, PM can’t get pardon by President as he has completed his sentence and also can’t hold public office. Meaning PM could still be thrown out of office. Coz now he’s a convict.

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  • Mirza
    Apr 26, 2012 - 10:28PM

    Those who have no clue about the constitution should know that President has legal powers to pardon even a murderer. That is why the final appeal is usually goes to President. The president can set aside the SC verdict like a higher court elected by people and supported by constitution.
    It is against all judicial norms that the PCO SC convicts the elected PM for mocking the court in “future dates”. Knowing there was no solid case against the PM the SC threw in all his speeches that were delivered after the charges were filed. Only in Pakistan and for its fair minded people attacking the SC while in session and throwing 60 judges with their families in long indefinite detention is not contempt. However, sticking to the constitution and International laws is the worst contemp. Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Apr 26, 2012 - 10:49PM

    The fair way for the convicted Prime Minister is to first step down and then file an appeal to the Supreme Court as an ordinary citizen of Pakistan.

    I can foresee that time is not very far when people from all nooks and corners are going to come out if Mr. Yousaf Raza Gilani will not resign and step down in the interest of the country and nation.

    When the hullabaloo will start, no body will be able to stop it. Then COAS will go and ask the convicted PM to step down in order to save the country from total chaos.

    The convicted PM does not have any sympathy among the masses, as the performance of PPP government during the last four years was very very poor.

    It was a period of loot and plunder, where the entire nation, more specifically those who were not attached with PPP in one way or the other, have gone in the black hole in respect with the unprecedented high inflation in the country.

    The result card of the performance of PPP government is in front of the nation.

    Now it is time for a complete change. If the change will not come, Pakistan will not be able to progress any further.

    The entire system of the country has been collapsed. The leaders and workers of PPP have fully enjoyed the tenure of PPP government, minus the nation.

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  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Apr 27, 2012 - 12:08AM

    Mr.Aitzaz……let it go, why are you whipping a dead horse ?Don’t support inadequates.

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  • Jibran
    Apr 27, 2012 - 2:12AM

    @Pakistan politics:
    Mr. your argument defies all logic.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Apr 27, 2012 - 2:39PM

    Well done AA . This judgement has once again exposed the ability of CJ .

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Apr 28, 2012 - 2:01PM

    Is this called the supremacy of Supreme Court’s and its decisions or contempt of Supreme Court’s and its decisions in the PPP’s leaders’ eyes????????Now the nation shall have to decide it in the next general elections.

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