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Pakistan PM Will Be Charged With Contempt

Yousaf Raza Gilani's trial will begin Feb. 13
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2012 8:04 AM CST
Pakistan PM Will Be Charged With Contempt
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani attends for a climate debate at the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

(Newser) – It's official: Pakistan's Supreme Court says it's following through on its threat to charge Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani with contempt for failing to pursue corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari and others, the New York Times reports. The trial will begin Feb. 13, and could permanently boot Gilani from parliament, and net him up to six months in jail.

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The move escalates long-simmering tensions between Pakistan's judiciary and its elected government. It also comes just days after the court resolved its other high-profile political case—the so-called "Memogate" scandal, in which former ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani was accused of treason over a memo he allegedly sent urging the US to prevent a military coup in Pakistan. The journalist who revealed the memo failed to show up to testify, so the court allowed Haqqani to leave the country. (Read more Yousuf Raza Gilani stories.)

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