ISLAMABAD, Feb 13 � In a first, Pakistan�s embattled Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani was today indicted for contempt by the Supreme Court for failing to reopen graft cases against the President, but he pleaded not guilty to charges which may cost him his job and plunge the nation into further disarray, reports PTI.
Dressed in a dark suit with grey tie, 59-year-old Gilani personally drove in his white SUV to the Supreme Court to be charged with contempt for defying its order for two years to revive graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
As Gilani stood at a rostrum in the courtroom, Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, who headed the seven-judge bench, read out the two-page chargesheet and asked him whether he had gone through the charges against him and understood them.
To this, Gilani responded by saying, �Yes, I have read the chargesheet and have understood them.�
�Do you plead guilty?� asked Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk.
�No,� Gilani replied.
If convicted, Gilani could face up to six months in jail and would be disqualified to hold public office for 5 years. The court has directed Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq to prosecute the case, giving him until February 16 to file documents.
It set a February 22 date for the next hearing and asked the defence to file evidence by February 27.