ISLAMABAD - Two former prime ministers belonging to the PPP, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Parvez Ashraf, appeared before an accountability court in Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) corruption case here on Tuesday.

Gilani got permanent exemption from appearance.

The two ex-prime ministers were made accused in a reference pertaining to the illegal appointment of former Ogra chief Tauqeer Sadiq.

The accountability court had earlier summoned six accused including the two premiers to appear in the court on February 18. During hearing of the case, Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Parvez Ashraf appeared before the court where Gilani’s lawyer Amjad Iqbal Qureshi pleaded for a permanent exemption for his client in the backdrop of security issues. He stated that Gilani’s son was still missing and security agencies had not recovered him as yet. The court, then, approved the plea and granted exemption to Gilani from appearing in the court. The hearing was adjourned till March 5.

On Jan 24, NAB had filed a reference over the appointment of Tauqeer Sadiq as Ogra chief against the two former prime ministers in an accountability court. The bureau also filed a supplementary reference in the court in a case pertaining to Rs 82 billion corruption committed in Ogra.

Talking to media after the hearing, Gilani said he respected judiciary and had always ensured his presence whenever summoned.