What was the case against Gilani about?

Published: April 26, 2012
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani (C) arriving at the Supreme Court in Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani (C) arriving at the Supreme Court in Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday found Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani guilty of contempt of court for refusing to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, but gave him only a symbolic sentence of a few minutes’ detention in the courtroom.         

The following are some key facts explaining the background of the case:


  • Gilani was summoned before the Supreme Court on January 19 for failing to take steps to re-open money-laundering proceedings against President Asif Ali Zardari. He was indicted for contempt of court on February 13.
  • The civilian-judicial confrontation stems from thousands of cases thrown out in 2007 under an amnesty ordered by former military president Pervez Musharraf, which paved the way for a return to civilian rule.
  • Zardari was the decree’s most prominent beneficiary. He became the main target of the court when it voided the measure in 2009 and ordered the government to ask Swiss authorities to restart legal action against him.
  • The cases date back to the 1990s, when Zardari had multiple cases of corruption lodged against him, including accusations of money laundering using Swiss accounts. He says all the cases are false and politically motivated.
  • Gilani and his advisers have defied the court, citing the president’s constitutional immunity as head of state. The prime minister appealed the court’s decision to charge him with contempt, but that appeal was dismissed in February.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Humayun Khan
    Apr 26, 2012 - 2:38PM

    Nobody cares what the case was about, he has been made into a siyasi shaheed and the ppp has one more propaganda tool to exploit now.


  • butt jee
    Apr 26, 2012 - 3:56PM

    Good judgment. Our PM and all other PPP leaders are habitual contemnors and all of them deserve to be punished. As a matter of fact the PM should have been tried for treason. Instead of bringing back Pakistan’s looted wealth from Swiss banks, the PM has sided with the looters. Obviously he has failed to prove his loyalty with the country.


  • Apr 26, 2012 - 7:23PM

    Courts could not punish Gilani because the provision in Constitution about immunity is clear. Courts at best could slightly modify the application by suggesting a different interpretation.


  • naeem khan
    Apr 26, 2012 - 7:41PM

    In any other civilized country, the President or PM would have resigned but not in Pakistan, they stick to these chairs of power like they own it.As the saying goes, the people deserve what they got to represent them, it is time to throw these looters and criminals out of the government and bring in some one who cares for the country and not just some family.In the USA the Supreme Court decided in favour of President Bush and Mr.Gore accepted it and did not hurl any insults at the justices, Remember Gore got more popular votes than Bush did. How could they teach the younger generation in Pakistan to abide by the law while they violate it day in and day out and even make mockery of the highest court of Pakistan. Recommend

  • butt jee
    Apr 26, 2012 - 8:36PM

    @naeem khan:
    Unfortunately these plunderers have no morality, ethics and self respect. Pakistan is very unfortunate to have morally bankrupt people as its rulers.


  • Salim
    Apr 26, 2012 - 8:57PM

    butt jee:Why always blame the leaders?Jaisee Rooh Waisey Farishtey.The fact is that most people in our country are morally bankrupt so you will have the rulers with the same character.


  • basharat
    Apr 26, 2012 - 9:11PM

    The instant judgment is shrouded in thick haze of suspicion and controversies, it like murder case of Mr Bhutto, will not attract acceptance from future history. It is highly embarrassing that applicability or otherwise of Article 248 of the constitution has not been discussed at any stage of the proceedings, the omission is almost fatal for the prosecution case. The Prime Minister has been caught in catch22 situation he has rightly preferred to follow the constitution. The judgment, it is expected, will be corrected at appellate stage, it will enhance credibility of the Judiciary.


  • saqibtahir
    Apr 26, 2012 - 9:45PM

    PPP won election in Multan today. This is the reaction from people.


  • Nayla
    Apr 28, 2012 - 8:19PM

    When generals with multiple acts of high treason and no support in masses can stay in power always with the help of SC then what is the problem with elected PM being in office? PM should leave the office after all legal avenues are exhausted. Only the same day the PM and PPP has proved their popularity among rural masses when they defeated PML-N in Punjab Assembly elections on a seat that PML-N had never lost. The moment PM loses his majority in the parliament he would have to resign, prior to that it is his party’s decision. PM has proved himself that he is not a traitor and would go down for the party as a foot soldier. BTW, even after the lists of politicians who received money from ISI to defeat PPP, how many voices are raised against them as corrupt or they should resign?


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