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Pakistan PM to appeal against conviction

(Xinhua)

14:52, April 26, 2012

ISLAMABAD, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, who was found guilty in a contempt of court case on Thursday, will file a review appeal against his conviction, a cabinet minister said.

The Supreme Court found Gilani guilty in the contempt of court case for failing to act on its directives to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

Gillani was elected Prime Minister of Pakistan in March 2008 after his Pakistan Peoples Party won a considerable victory in the parliamentary elections.

A seven-judge bench headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk sentenced Prime Minister until the rising of the court. The Prime Minister was released after 30 seconds when the judges left the court's room.

Cabinet Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the Prime Minister will file review appeal against the apex court's order.

Legal experts say that the Prime Minister has the right to file review appeal but some of them argue that the Prime Minister must step down after conviction.

Gilani continues to act as Prime Minister despite conviction, state television reported.

The beleaguered Prime Minister also summoned an emergency meeting of the federal cabinet to review implications of the court' s verdict, Information Minister said.

Qamar uz Zaman Kaira said that a cabinet meeting will be held shortly to review the 'consequences of the court's verdict and chalk out future strategy'.

"We will also hold discussion about political implications and its impact and legal team will review the legal aspect," he said. He said the verdict is a matter of concern for the party and the people.

Official sources said that President Asif Ali Zardari has also conveyed a meeting of senior ruling party leaders and coalition partners to discuss the fast emerging political development after the court's verdict.

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